Forest School at Ludworth
‘Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees’.
(Forest School Association) www.forestschoolassociation.org
At Ludworth Primary School, through our Forest School sessions, we hope to encourage independent, enthusiastic and creative learners who develop holistically through a well-planned and interesting child-centred approach.
Forest School Principles and how they link to our school:
- We aim for children to receive Forest School sessions across the year relating to their discovery learning.
- Our Forest School sessions take place within the school grounds, the specific location depending on the focus for the session.
- Sessions are aimed at promoting the holistic development of children, to develop the resilience, confidence, independence and creativity of learners.
- Children are encouraged and supported to assess risks for themselves which are appropriate to the environment and focus for the session.
- All Forest School sessions are designed in collaboration with a Level 3 qualified Forest School Practitioner.
- Sessions aim to inspire, encourage and nurture a love of the outdoors where community and adventure thrive.
Benefits of Forest School
There is a whole host of evidence which strongly links Forest School to improved levels of physical and mental wellbeing among its participants. The Child psychologist Professor Tanya Byron succinctly stated ‘Nothing can replace what children gain from the freedom and independence of thought they have when trying new things out in the open.’
Here are a few of the benefits:
- Enjoyment and Engagement: children appreciate spending time with their peers away from the normal structures of the classroom
- Being physically active: having the space and opportunity to roam around freely is something most children instinctively enjoy so activities such as den building and climbing trees are great for developing muscle strength, aerobic fitness as well as physical coordination. Using a range of tools is commonplace in Forest School from making a wand, to designing a tent peg to coppicing a tree and being able to safely and effectively use tools aids the development of gross and fine motor skills.
- Boosting self-esteem and confidence: children have the freedom, time and space to learn and demonstrate independence, which often increases confidence and self-esteem. Resilience and determination are often fundamental to many activities undertaken outdoors, such as fire lighting or leaf whopping and the sense of pride young people feel when they succeed further boosts their positive sense of self.
- Developing social skills: the Forest School ethos is one in which all participants are equal and valued. Being child-led, children feel able to take things at their own pace, work alongside children of their choosing and in time develop relationships with those around them, using their communication skills through for example, sharing tools or participating in play.
- Connection to nature: through improved knowledge, understanding of and wonder for the natural surroundings and respect for the environment.
- Improves wellbeing: taking notice of the world around you and connecting with nature is proven to increase everyone's sense of wellbeing.