Forest School led by Mrs jesse & mrs morris

“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland or natural environment with trees.”

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 Why do Plaistow and Kirdford School do Forest School?

Research has shown that Forest School has a powerful effect on children’s confidence, self-esteem and independence, as well as an increase in social interaction and physical skills.

It creates opportunities for the children to:

  • Build their self-esteem and confidence
  • Become independent learners
  • Stay safe and establish their own boundaries for risk taking
  • Show creativity, innovation, motivation and problem solving
  • To be able to explore at their own pace
  • To engender an ethos of respect for the environment based on feeling connected and content

Most Forest School activities take place in the woods within a 5 or 10 minute walk from the school. On other occasions we may do a longer walk rather than activities in the woods.

Early years and KS1 children have Forest Schools on a weekly basis throughout the year; sessions generally last 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

  • Robins     -           Thursday, 9.30 - 11.15am
  • Squirrels class    -        Wednesday, 9.30 – 11.15am
  • Hedgehogs class     -      Friday, 1.30 – 3.15pm

KS2 children all have 9 weeks of Forest Schools, on a Thursday afternoon, 1.15 – 3.30.

    Forest School is led by qualified Forest School Practitioners, and there is a high practitioner/adults to learner ratio. All volunteers need to have a current DBS certificate at our school in order to join in.

    This involves supervising the safety of children at all times, on the walk to the woods and during activities, and joining in activities as far as possible; no previous experience required !

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    What do we wear?

    All adults and children attending Forest School must wear suitable personal clothing which will protect them from the environment they operate within and the activities which they carry out.

    Children should be made aware of the importance of wearing sufficient layers of clothing, which may be added or removed as appropriate. Never bad weather, just bad clothing!

    The following clothing lists apply to everyone involved in Forest School sessions, and is important for both welfare and safety.

    During winter months:

    • Clothes that can get muddy
    • Warm, waterproof coat/jacket
    • Waterproof trousers 
    • Fleece/sweatshirt
    • Woolly hat
    • Gloves
    • Wellies

    During summer months:

    • Clothes that can get muddy
    • Long trousers
    • Long sleeved top
    • Sun hat
    • Sun protection cream
    • Waterproof coat (in case of showers)
    • Wellies

    A carrier bag should be included, to store wet clothing when they return from Forest School.

    What do we do?

    We are responsive to the needs and interests of the learners. In most sessions we will have a teacher led activity on offer, and the children may choose to do this and/or activities using their own ideas and inspiration.

    Activities we do include:

    • We often have a campfire and hot chocolate, and sometimes a snack cooked on the fire, so the children learn fire lighting skills and safety
    • We use basic tools to make things out of wood, e.g. spinners and mallets
    • We build shelters
    • Clay and art activities
    • Environmental games, stories and songs
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    Please follow this link to see an invite to a fundraising event for Circle of Life Rediscovery's 'The Woodland Project'. The initiative is a joint venture between Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Learning Disability-Family Intensive Support Service and Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC.