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Forest School


Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self esteem, through hands – on learning experiences in our woodland areas. Our Forest School encourages children to foster an understanding and love for the natural world. At Priory Forest School, children have the freedom to explore and discover whilst initiating and driving their own learning. This gives children ample opportunity to recognise and take appropriate risks, work together, solve problems and build resilience. Forest School is an inclusive process and allows children of all abilities to enjoy and learn. The styles of learning used at Forest School maximise emotional, social and behavioural development. These support the child to succeed in their experiences, meaning their self – esteem and confidence will grow.

We initially established our Forest School in the summer of 2013 in the Early Years forest, with this then developing and extending onto a larger wooded area on the school site. The second site houses two larger Forest School sites which are used on a regular basis by the whole school. The sessions are always delivered by one of two trained members of staff and our Forest School site is well managed and risk assessed. Our Forest School sessions are planned and facilitated to support many areas of the curriculum but to also to target bespoke groups to support specific needs such as behavioural issues, low self – esteem and gifted and talented.

From an early age at Forest School children learn to use and care for a range of tools, such as knives, bow saws and loppers as well as rope techniques to allow them to partake in a range of experiences. These experiences will include:

  • Exploring the natural environment.
  • Crafts using natural materials gathered from the site.
  • Using tools such as knives, saws and secateurs.
  • Learning knots and lashings to help with construction activities or pulling/moving heavy objects.
  • Climbing trees and making play equipment from logs and ropes.
  • Learning to assess and take acceptable risks in the natural environment.
  • Storytelling, drama, making natural music and singing.
  • Cooking on an open fire.
  • Identifying and classifying flora and fauna.Getting muddy!

It is important that all children have appropriate clothing suitable for all weather conditions. As the activities will be taking place outside, children should wear old, comfortable clothing which they can get muddy.

In the winter months, children will need to come prepared for each session with:

  • Woolly hat and gloves
  • Old warm jacket/waterproof coat
  • Fleece/jumper
  • Long, warm trousers
  • Spare socks/Sturdy shoes/ wellies

In the summer months, children will need to come prepared for each session with:

  • A waterproof coat
  • Sun hat/cap
  • A thin, long sleeved top
  • Long, comfortable trousers
  • Sturdy shoes/trainers
  • Water bottle

Children all through school love their sessions at Forest School. Together we witness magical moments, share discoveries, grow in confidence and uncover new abilities.