Berwick Middle Forest School
What is Forest School?
Forest Schools was originally developed in Denmark for pre-school children under seven years old. Research showed that children who had been attending Forest Schools were arriving at school with strong social skills, the ability to work in groups effectively, high self-esteem and confidence in their own capabilities. All these attributes proved to be an effective foundation that raised academic achievements. This ethos was introduced to the UK during the 1990s and has been taken on as an effective educational tool in a variety of settings. Kinaesthetic learners (learning by doing) are particularly suited to learning in this outdoor woodland environment.
At Berwick Middle School, Forest School provides a nurturing space that supports our children’s well-being by providing and implementing positive outdoor children centred experiences in a natural setting. We hope that children will follow the school ethos by getting involved with different activities and succeed in learning a wide range of new skills along the way. Alongside this, children will be encouraged to help one another, develop communication skills and make a positive difference to the natural environment around us.
Children participating in Forest School have one lesson a week. Our provision is in a secure, large woodland and fielded area at the side of the school. Each lesson provides children with the time to experience their environment and be fully emerged within their learning. A trainee level three Forest School provider leads Forest School sessions to Year 5 and children’s skills are developed as they progress throughout the year. Children develop practical skills such as knot tying, fire lighting and the safe, responsible use of tools.
Children are active, take ownership of their learning and develop their self- esteem through a variety of independent tasks. Children develop their teamwork skills and increase their capability to work together to solve problems in a variety of ways, taking into account one another’s ideas. Positive relationships are built through these sessions and children are both enable and empowered to achieve their holistic potential.
How will my child benefit from Forest School?
Through the Forest School ethos, we aim to provide children with opportunities to take measure tasks, learn more about themselves and their relationships with others. Under the guidance of a level three trainee Forest School Leader, we aim for all children to experience nature in a hands on, safe secure and supported environment. Activities are carefully planned to provide small achievable tasks so that no child will fail thus helping to raise self-esteem and confidence in every child. Children learn how to work with and react to the natural environment.
Who will organise and run the Forest School sessions?
Sessions will be planned and run by a level three trainee Forest School leader (Mr Moscrop). All curriculum areas can be taught within the Forest School with some being taught through a range of adventurous activities: cooking on an open fire, shelter building, using hand tools and much, much more.