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Sir Henry Fermor Church of England Primary School

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Sir Henry Fermor

Church of England Primary School

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Forest School

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Forest School at Sir Henry Fermor School

 

Forest School is a type of outdoor education in which children visit woodlands, learning personal, social and technical skills. It has been defined as “an inspirational process that offers children opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment”.

 

 Forest School uses the woods and forests as a means to build independence and self-esteem. Topics introduced are cross-curricular, for example the role of trees in the eco system and recognition of plants and animals. However, the personal skills are also considered highly valuable such as team work and problem solving. In addition to this the woodland environment can be used to learn about more abstract concepts such as mathematics and communication.

 

At Sir Henry Fermor Forest School we are fortunate to have a wooded site on our school grounds. Forest School is programmed weekly for our foundation stage children on a Wednesday afternoon so each class gets three sessions a term. Each other year group gets allocated a term in which they have Forest School on Fridays.

 

Our Forest School sessions show a gradual progression from adult directed activities to child led play/activities, with the emphasis on the children leading and controlling their own learning. This will happen at different rates, depending on the individuals taking part. Activities selected will depend on the learner’s age, stage of development and interests. The activities provide a starting point and children may choose to take activities in a different direction from the one intended.

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The types of activities may include the following:

 

  • Field studies Activities – minibeast hunts, pond dipping, tree identification, bird watching, life cycle games
  • Sensory Activities – games to do with colour, smell, sound, touch, blindfold games
  • Bush Craft – shelter building, knot use, fire lighting and cooking, wild foods, whittling
  • Woodland Crafts – willow crafts, natural jewellery, weaving, natural dyes, traditional crafts
  • Teambuilding and trust games – blindfold games, circle games, problem solving activities, team games
  • Wildlife Conservation – tree planting, nest box construction, coppicing, fence/path building
  • Imaginative activities – story telling, drama, role play, songs
  • Physical Play – tree climbing, balancing, log dragging, digging
  • Construction – shelter building, rafts, rope swings, tree houses, pulleys
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