Forest School with Wandering Woods
Once the children reach pre-school, they will get the chance to further learn and explore with Wandering Woods at Forest School.
Forest school is a woodland based learning environment, it is very much child led and allows for a holistic view of each individual child’s development.
Forest schools developed in Scandinavia in the 1950’s, with their kindergarten woods for children aged 3-4years. During the 1990’s it began to emerge here in the U.K. It has now become very popular in a lot of local schools. There is now seen to be a great need for forest school by many people due to the changes in children’s lives and family lifestyles. Research done by Natural England (2009) found that “less than 10% of children regularly play outside in natural spaces”.
Forest school sessions include a range of different activities.
Mud play Crafts Fires and outdoor cooking
Use of tools e.g. hand drills, bow saws Minibeasts
Den building Weather Trees and plants
Forest School at Hollins Wood
The sessions are up at Linnets Clough Scout Camp, Mellor. Linnets Clough has a mixed woodland and lots of space for the children to explore and learn.
The sessions will run over a period of months, either September-December or February-June. This is in order to ensure that each child gets to experience the full benefits of forest school, become confident in the woodland surroundings, see changes in the natural environment and develop new skills through the activities. The initial sessions will involve learning about the woodland and the area itself.
The sessions will last around 2 hours. The ratios we work to will be reduced from a 1:8 to a 1:5/1:6 ratios, in order to allow for a safer environment and activities to be completed to their fullest.
All the activities have been risk assessed and all staff understand the risks. A full site assessment has been carried out and ongoing risk assessments will be carried out during the sessions. Fire activities and tools will only be introduced to the children as and when they understand the safety procedures for these, this may be done on a one to one basis.
The sessions are lead by Heather who holds a Level 3 Qualification in Forest school as well as an Early Years Degree.