Kingswood’s Forest School welcomes some of our youngest students at 18 months and runs through to Year 1, with Year 2 continuing their enjoyment and development through weekly Outdoor Education lessons.
Each year group participates in a Forest School session in The Secret Garden once a week, all year round. Playing this way has a natural impact on the type of activities they will enjoy, whilst also allowing them to experience the natural world throughout different seasons. We have created a nature-based community where teachers nurture learner-led exploration and discovery, developing meaningful experiences for positive lifelong impact. Through recognition of physical emotional and social needs of our children we guide and facilitate children’s learning and development during their time spent in a natural environment.
Forest School is ‘an ethos not a place’, a way of working away from the classroom. Children are given time to explore their own learning and have opportunities to play in the outdoors, building life-long learning skills through their exploration of the environment. Time spent in the Forest enables children to develop their self-confidence as they complete small, achievable tasks, challenging themselves and taking risks. Supported by skilled teachers, children learn to reflect and de-stress, allowing them to display behaviour often unacceptable within a classroom environment.
The Forest School environment and ethos are both particularly well suited to holistic development, enabling children to use every part of themselves to thrive and grow. A large and diverse environment to explore provides a myriad of opportunities for captivating the interest of all learners. The ethos encourages exploration of and interaction with this environment in a way and at a pace that suits the individual.
There are many benefits of Forest School (see below) and these are linked to the long-term, regular sessions, and echo the holistic development aims in the six guiding principles.
- Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improved social skills
- Increased enthusiasm
- Problem-solving skills
- Emotional well-being
- The development of language and communication skills
- Improved motor skills
- Improved motivation and concentration
- Increased knowledge and understanding of the environment
|Beginning of Session|
Circle time around the fire circle under the parachute
Welcome song – Good Morning Dear Earth
Conversation – Sharing ideas / thoughts / requests for resources / activities
Forest School Rules & Reminders
|Free Play - Child initiated/led play|
Woodland Kitchen, Potions, Tool work, Craft, Digging Area, Shelters, Exploration, Swings, Hammock, Process Art, Netting, Slack line
Tidy Up Time
|End of Session|
Gather at basecamp under the parachute
Story / Singing
Children in Year 2 continue to benefit from learning in the environment with their weekly Outdoor Education sessions.
As children move into the Prep School, we make use of our beautiful grounds with time through the day to explore, while wellbeing sessions are often outdoor based. As part of our Extra Enrichment programme, children can join the Eco Club, while our Year 6 early years monitors support the Reception class in their Forest School lessons.