What is the Forest School approach?
The Forest School ethos developed in Scandinavia for pre-school children in the 1950s and since the mid 1990s has become increasingly popular here in the UK. It is a concept that takes a long term sustained approach to outdoor learning. Forest Schools seek to encourage, motivate, engage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences.
Research in Sweden found and concluded that pre-school children in a forest school setting were more balanced, with greater social capability; they had fewer days off sick; were more able to concentrate and had better co-ordination. They played for a longer time, with less annoyance or interruption of each other compared to children in the city. Children attending Forest School pre-schools were arriving at school with stronger social skills and a greater ability to work in groups. Generally the children had high self-esteem and confidence in their own capabilities. This was concluded as being as a consequence of being in a pleasant, natural, fun and less stressful environment.
We run Forest School at Ashurst Wood using local woodland with the kind permission of Mr Eichner. The children explore this exciting environment every month throughout the year.
The children will need to be appropriately dressed:
For every visit they will need trousers (old jeans preferably), long sleeve tops and trainers or walking boots.
If it is wet
If it is wet or raining a waterproof jacket and trousers and wellies will be needed.
If it is sunny
Trousers (old jeans preferably), long sleeve tops and trainers or walking boots. A sun hat and sun cream will also be required.
If it is cold
Add a warm hat, gloves and a scarf.
The children can come to school in their forest clothes and bring their named school uniform in a bag for the afternoon, this bag can then be used to transport muddy boots and clothes home in.
The children will also need a small rucksack with anti-bacterial hand gel, a bottle of water and a mid morning snack, as they will be using a lot of energy.