Archibald Primary School

Forest School

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All our Y1 pupils have had the opportunity to participate in Forest School this year.  Each group of 12 pupils has enjoyed the forest school experience for blocks of up to 6 weeks.

Forest School is an inspirational process, which 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.  At Archibald we use Burn Wood near Yarm.  Our sessions are led by Cathy Pearce, our Forest School teacher, although teachers or TAs from Y1 attend each session I order that work can be continued and extended in the classroom.

Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.

At Forest School all participants are viewed as:

* equal, unique and valuable

* competent to explore & discover

* entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge

* entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development

* entitled to experience regular success

* entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people

* entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world

This learner-centred approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every Forest School session and programme with discovery and difference. Yet each programme does also share a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers.  This means hat as pupils attending at different times of the year will have different experiences in the forest, they will all benefit in the same way from the approaches and strategies used in the sessions.

Principles of Forest School

* Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.

* Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

* Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.

* Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

* Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

* Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

This ethos creates learning communities where deep-level learning and progression are the norm. Below, we’ve collected some recent examples of ‘Forest School moments’ from some of our most recent sessions.  Our Forest School display is in the corridor outside our y1 classrooms and is updated regularly with photographs and responses to the children’s work in the forest. at Forest School.

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