The ethos of Forest School is based on the understanding that children have a built in desire to investigate the world around them through play. Children have a natural curiosity and Forest School allows them to explore this in a safe, well managed but different environment to the classroom. Forest School philosophy focusses on play and working out how to do things in a practical manner.
Forest School is based on the process of learning rather than the specific content. A session is planned by the practitioner but the children determine the outcome of the session and the adults follow their lead. Children are encouraged to direct their own learning with the practitioner ensuring all children get a say and are encouraged to participate.
Forest School practitioners believe that children are at their best in this dynamic outdoor environment with a never ending source of smells, textures, tastes. As the seasons change, so does the forest and the experience to be had. Themes are planned in advance to incorporate the curriculum and merge in with current topics and learning outcomes. i.e. butterflies, fairies, nature investigations, land usage and design and technology skills such as joining materials. We work on specific skills as children progress through school, such as lighting fires, shelter building, tool skills, environment art and how to take care of the forest environment and the plants and animals within it.
At Findern Primary School we are lucky to have 3 forest school sites where our children have a variety of experiences. One of our sites is based with in the school grounds and two are located in a dedicated area of the disused Willington Power Station site adjacent to the school. We have three forest school leads and several support staff hold level 2 Forest School Assistant qualifications.