September has arrived and we are welcoming everyone back into the woods for our regular Forest School sessions on a Monday and a Tuesday.
It is very exciting to see the children making friends with the trees again and reintroducing themselves to the flora and fauna that live in our school woodland. But what IS Forest School? The beginning of the school year seems like a great time to share a little more information about what Forest School actually is, and what we do in our sessions.
Forest School is a child-centered inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. We are very lucky to have a large area to play and explore in at Winyates. We often climb trees, explore and make dens, search for insects and interesting animal tracks, as well as learning how to use tools like a bow saw or how to safely cook over a fire.
Last year we developed a school garden area with poly tunnel, we planted some Living willow fences, around 100 new trees and around 50 native bluebells, and with the help of the Winyates Eco Council, we designed and made a wild flower maze too. We have Lots of big plans for making our forest school and garden area even more interesting and useful and we look forward to sharing lots of pictures in the newsletter and on the class website pages.
Over the next few weeks we will also sharing more information about the forest school ethos with you, about its principles and how we do it at Winyates. Perhaps you’ll find some interesting ideas about how you can connect with nature at home too!