Statement of Intent
At Forest School we aim to nurture individuals and improve their sense of self-worth by teaching them new skills. We allow them to explore a different environment and develop their self- regulation and risk assessment skills.
We aim to encourage these individuals to support and help each other, developing a sense of community and encouraging good relationships within the class.
In this age of poor mental health in young and old, Forest School experiences encourage children to enjoy working in a natural environment with natural materials whilst observing seasonal changes and having fun.
At Hill Top Primary Academy, Forest School provides a nurturing space that supports our children’s wellbeing by providing and implementing positive, outdoor, child centred experiences in a natural setting.
Children participating in Forest School, usually Year 3, have a half-day session weekly all year. We use a large mature woodland in walking distance from our school. We also use our school field and Wildlife Garden situated on our school grounds.
The sessions provide children with the time to experience their environment and be fully emerged within their learning. We have a Level three trained Forest School Leader who leads the sessions, with a variety of volunteers and students benefitting from the experience too.
Children’s skills are developed throughout the year;
The first term tends to be Art based and is used to build up mutual trust.
The second term is where the children develop practical skills such as knot tying, fire lighting and the safe, responsible use of tools.
The third term is a culmination of the above where the children apply their skills in self led tasks and projects.
Children are active, take ownership of their learning and develop their self-esteem through a variety of independent tasks that they take ownership of. Children learn knowledge of sustainability and respect for their learning environment whilst developing a love of nature. Children develop their teamwork skills and increase their capability to work together to solve problems in a variety of ways, taking into account one another’s ideas. Positive relationships are built through these sessions and children are both enabled and empowered to achieve their holistic potential.