Introduction to Spire forest school
Forest School provision is an enhancement to our outdoor learning at Spire Infants and Nursery.
Sessions will enable children, parents and carers to experience and learn together through exploration, sensory experiences, imagination and play with planned activities to reflect children’s interests at developmentally appropriate levels. The approach encourages children to manage risks and set their own challenges. It promotes high levels of well being and involvement for all participants within the process. Research advocates the benefits of learning in the natural environment and shows that children need to play, to experience space and movement and sensory stimulation for healthy development.
Children who were observed in ‘forest School’ or outdoor settings appeared to develop greater confidence and self esteem, were able to problem solve and manage risks. Children demonstrated better interpersonal skills which enabled them to work together to achieve a shared goal.
Our Forest School site is situated within the school grounds at the top of the school field. It is an established site, approximately 10 years old and consists of a range of trees and shrubs, a mounded area, wild flower planting and a ‘Silver Birch Forest schools fire circle’.
The site itself is risk assessed and checked prior to a Forest school session.
The forest school sessions run over a minimum of six weeks (to allow repetition of routine/ observing changes and ‘new’ social situations, children are encouraged to experiment and repeat tasks to deepen understanding)
Children meet for a briefing before walking to the forest school site along the forest path.
Children pass through a magic door into the woodland area.
Group rules are shared.
We play a warm up game in our tree circle.
Discuss what we are doing today.
Activities and free play.
Snack together, share stories or jokes and talk about experiences.
Opportunity for free play.
Review our work.
Our fire walk practise (changing places game).
Leave and say goodbye to the woodland.
Managing feelings and behaviour
As within the Nursery setting we focus on what the children can do in place of don’t when giving directions and sharing our boundaries and expectations.
Children will be encouraged to manage risks and talk about how to stay safe. Through games and discussion they will be encouraged to consider how they play fairly and value each other as part of a team.
To celebrate the end of the six week block children will have opportunity to share the experience of making a fire to cook food in our fire circle.