Forest School is a child-centred, inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired hands-on experiences in a natural setting. During forest school sessions, children are encouraged to work with others to carry out activities such as den/shelter building, role play, exploration, practical and creative skills and tasks. Forest school sessions link directly to the needs and interest each particular group of children and will help children develop a curiosity about the natural world.
Studies have shown that children develop significantly in the following areas:
- Confidence: children have the freedom, time and space to learn and demonstrate independence.
- Social skills: children gain increased awareness of the consequences of their actions on peers through team activities such as sharing tools and participating in play.
- Communication: language development is prompted by the children’s sensory experiences and teamwork.
- Motivation: the woodland environment tends to fascinate the children and they developed a keenness to participate and the ability to concentrate over longer periods of time
- Physical skills: Children develop physical stamina and gross and fine motor skills
- Knowledge and understanding: Children develop an interest in the natural surroundings and gain more respect for the environment
If you would like further information about what Forest School is all about, the following website offers further insight into the process and benefits of implementing forest school programmes with young people.
The programme for Smithy Bridge school is overseen by Mrs Treaton who is an accredited forest school leader and the day to day sessions are led by Mrs Walker. Our forest school area is a fenced area of trees on the Eastern boundary of the school field and runs down to the bottom end of the field that borders the canal.