Since its introduction in the United Kingdom, Forest School is proving a powerful tool for developing personal, social and emotional, physical and life-long learning skills in young people.
Forest School is an approach to outdoor education, which originated in Scandinavia, where outdoor living and learning are totally embedded in society. In Scandinavia, there is a strong belief that nature and movement are essential to a young person’s overall development and well-being. Most young people, through their school years, spend one day per week engaged in learning activities outdoors, appreciating how to care for and respect the environment, while also looking after themselves and others.
A Forest School ethos is embedded into out Outdoor Learning, delivered by Level 3 qualified staff at Ravensdale Infant and Nursery School. We hope that its inclusion into the schools activities will help our young people overcome some of the difficulties they face on a day-to-day basis, including emotion and behavioural difficulties.
At Ravensdale Infant and Nursery School, we have adequate grounds which we continue to establish each term, to deliver ‘Go Wild’ outdoor learning sessions to groups of up to 30 children per session. Each session is delivered with a Forest School ethos and is a valuable and vital resource in helping our young people explore, learn and discover possibilities beyond the limits of the classroom. Our core values are - that of respect for others, our natural environment and ourselves.
Our outdoor learning sessions gives learners the chance to have first-hand opportunities within a natural setting. The experiences outdoors allow them to take safe and controlled risks, which help build their self-esteem and desire to find out more about the world around them.
At Ravensdale Infant and Nursery School we provide learners from Nursery to Year 2, a different environment in which they can find new ways of learning and a chance to develop a great sense of achievement. All young people are given equal opportunities to succeed in an alternative environment and at their own level of development. Our Forest School sessions provide an opportunity for young people to develop their emotional intelligence and well-being, through their interaction with the natural environment and with each other.
The outdoor sessions intend to provide a unique ‘unstructured’ platform for learning, in which the opportunities that arise, stem from the discoveries by the young people and the ‘unexpected’. The Forest School Leader provides a safe and encouraging environment and sessions are very much based on the children’s prior knowledge and desires. The Leader is a facilitator of their learning and our observations of the learners lay at the base of future session planning. The Leader takes in to account a young person’s interests and builds on previous experiences, it is therefore that sessions are planned weekly. The environment and activities aim to support the young person’s social, emotional and physical development as well as their behavioural needs.
Impact - Objectives for our children
Within this learning programme, the young people are developing a variety of life skills - independence, competence, co-operation and communication and are encouraged to assess safety issues for themselves and others. It also intends to engender a sense of respect and appreciation for the habitat around us and begin to instil an environmental ethic.
Within this programme children will:
Engage in outdoor activity in a natural environment throughout the seasons, exploring both by themselves and with others.
Investigate and experiment, with a variety of natural resources.
Develop imagination and creativity through a range of practical experiences.
Make discoveries using senses.
Use language to describe, explain, predict, ask questions and develop ideas.
Develop an appreciation of natural beauty and a sense of wonder.
Care for personal safety, as well as that of others.
Care for the natural environment and create an awareness of wider environmental issues.
Develop relationships and effective communication with others.
Develop confidence and a sense of ownership within their own learning discoveries.
To view our curriculum plans please visit this page: https://www.ravensdalei.derby.sch.uk/curriculum/