A Classroom without walls, roofed only by the sky!
At All Saints C of E Primary School, we are delighted to be able to offer Forest School for the children in our Early Years Foundation Stage. Forest School takes place in Fulham Palace, a fantastic location that we are very lucky to be able to take advantage of.
What is Forest School?
Forest school provides children with opportunities to learn and develop across all areas of the curriculum in an outdoor learning environment. It particularly supports children’s self-esteem, which in turn has an impact on all areas of learning.
Forest school is a concept developed in Denmark and first brought to the United Kingdom by Bridgwater College in Somerset. Forest school aims to deliver all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in a natural, outdoor environment. We believe learning outdoors benefits all children, regardless of social background, race, gender, physical disability or learning needs. Forest Schools is beneficial for children of all ages. They visit the same area on a regular basis and through play, have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and work co-operatively with others.
Forest school provides unique opportunities to develop children’s self-esteem, which has an impact on learning in all areas of the curriculum. Children who have high self-esteem will do well in all subjects. Forest school also meets all of the requirements of the government’s ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda (keeping healthy, making a positive contribution, economic wellbeing, staying safe and enjoying and achieving).
Forest school encourages children to be independent and promotes a sense of pride in their own achievements. All efforts, however small, are praised by adults. Being outside generates curiosity, motivating children to concentrate and extend their exploration, based on what interests them. It also develops communication skills as they ask questions and talk about what they have discovered.
Movement is vital for children’s learning and in forest school, children have ample opportunities to develop both their gross and fine motor skills. Young children explore the world around them through movement, using their whole bodies. In forest school they are able to develop their gross motor skills through running, jumping, swinging and climbing trees, carrying logs etc. Fine motor skills are needed for picking up small objects and mini-beasts, weaving and threading.
In today’s society, many children do not have opportunities to experience the wonders of the natural world and when appropriately clothed, it is a far healthier environment to be in too. Forest school instils in children, an understanding of and respect for the natural world. Children learn about the passage of time, watching plants grow and change each week. The outdoor environment looks different on each visit, depending on the weather and children will be able to experience the seasons in all of their splendour!