Forest School at Our Lady & St Edwards

 

At OLSE we are very excited to begin the delivery of ‘Forest School Sessions’ beginning this Spring Term 2020 and are looking forward to a great summer of outdoor learning opportunities for our children.

 

What is Forest School?

The Forest School principles were first brought to the UK in the 1990s from the highly successful Scandinavian practice of outdoor education. We aim to provide children at OLSE with the opportunity to learn from first-hand experience in an outdoor, natural environment and have been kindly granted access to the church grounds for use as our ‘Forest School Site’.

Forest School sessions aim to encourage exploration and play in a natural environment in order to enhance and grow child’s social, physical, intellectual, creative, emotional and spiritual development.

Forest School Activities:

Under the guidance of a Level 3 Forest School Leader children will experience a range of activities that may include:

  • Shelter and den building – tying ropes in different ways.
  • Using hand tools – including bow-saws, mallets, loppers and knives.
  • Investigating nature – mini-beast hunting and bird watching
  • Growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables.
  • Cooking on an open camp fire.
  • Natural art and wood craft.
  • Team building games
  • Woodland stories

 

The use of hand tools and being taught how to build and cook on a camp fire will be very safely and gradually introduced to the children, with close supervision and guidance from a Level 3 Forest School Leader. As Forest School is in its infancy at OLSE, early sessions will concentrate on building all the necessary skills and confidence for the children to move towards safe use of outdoor equipment/tools in the summer term.

Sessions:

Forest School Sessions will run every Tuesday afternoon 1-3pm and will include a review time and personal reflection over a hot or cold drink and snack. The children will keep a scrap book of their learning and will be encouraged to share this with their family at home. We will be inviting children to the sessions on a rotation and needs basis, as for health and safety reasons we can only have a certain number of pupils at a time.

Clothing:

Children will need appropriate clothing for their forest school sessions (clothes to keep warm, dry and that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy!) and for health and safety reasons, children who do not have the appropriate kit will not be able to take part. Children will change into their ‘Forest School Kit’ just as they would do for P.E. before sessions. Children need to be protected from the weather as we will be outside ‘come rain or shine!’

Please follow the kit list below and note arms and legs must be covered at all times.

  • Warm base layers: vest/long sleeve top/jumper/jogging bottoms
  • Waterproof coat
  • Thick socks
  • Wellies/walking boots
  • Hats and gloves when cold
  • Waterproof trousers (desirable but not essential)

Resources:

We will always be on the look-out for resources to support our Forest School learning sessions – see our appeal letter to see if you can help!

Being Outdoors:

For many of our children, living within the Nottingham City boundary, play experiences in the natural environment can be quite limited. Through Forest School sessions we hope to encourage free play and exploration, building self-esteem, confidence, communication and team-work skills.

We can’t wait to get started.

Mr Hebbes (Level 3 Forest School Leader)

Mrs Harrison (Currently Forest School Training)

Please enjoy our photos of forest school session three: learning how to tie a timber hitch knot, mud painting and fairy folk house building – super imagination everyone – well done OLSE forest school team.

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Please enjoy our photos of session two:

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Please enjoy our photos of session one:

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