Here at Winyates, our Forest School has six key principles that shape and govern what we do and how we run our Forest School sessions. There are many forms of outdoor education and all have enormous value, however, Forest School is unique in its reach, delivery and effect.
One of the first principles is that Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits. This allows the Forest School leader to have a cycle of planning, observation adaption and reviewing for each session. This means that each and every class in Winyates have a different and personal forest school experiences, with activities planned based on the class’s interest and specific needs. No two forest school sessions are the same, as all children at our school will tell you! Just this week over the school we have built towers, told stories, cooked feasts with mud, climbed trees, realised the floor was lava, strung autumn leaves and many other activities!
Recently in our school garden we have harvested many cherry tomatoes and had a great time digging up potatoes from the tractor tyre planters - it’s like digging for gold! These were all given to the school kitchen who were very happy to prepare them for the next day’s school lunch! Hopefully we can keep growing food throughout the winter in the poly tunnel and perhaps even in the raised beds.As Autumn begins to settle in to it’s own routine we have enjoyed noticing the changes it brings with it. Our school ground is covered in fallen apples and beautiful leaves from our forest trees. We have started to notice the numbers of insects decreasing, and the wind is getting chillier every week.
It is important that during our forest school sessions we wrap up warmly and appropriately. As the old saying goes… There’s no such thing as Bad Weather, only Bad clothing! So please make sure you bring in wellies, and waterpoofs for a Monday and a Tuesday.