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Forest School

‘Forest School is a child-centred 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.’

Forest School Association

We have been delivering Forest School to the children at Gretton for more than ten years now and hugely value its place within our curriculum. We strongly believe that Forest School provides children with confidence, life-long skills and memories which will stay with them forever. Our current Forest School Leader, Beth Wycherley, has over 12 years of experience in delivering high-quality Forest School sessions and Mr Bridges, a lifelong outdoor enthusiast, is currently training as a Level 3 Forest School leader too.

We are lucky enough to have use of a fabulous Forest School site on the slopes of Langley Hill which gives our children the space and natural environment to explore and develop their skills. Our Forest School sessions promote the holistic growth and development of our children and they have the freedom to follow their own interests and explore the site on their own terms within the sessions, though we also promote and provide reinforcement of learning from other curriculum areas including, but not limited to, Science, Geography and Design Technology.

Children from all classes take part in Forest School sessions throughout the year. Currently our reception class have five or six Forest School blocks (usually six weeks) per year, Year One and Two have three blocks per year and in Key Stage 2, children have two six week blocks at different times of the year. Sessions are approximately two hours long, allowing sufficient time to complete meaningful and impactful activities as well as allowing time for children to engage in free-play, which we know promotes autonomy, team-work and creativity, as well as allowing them to test and improve their own physical abilities.

Activities at Forest School may include den building, orienteering, flora and fauna identification, craft activities using natural materials and supervised use of tools and fire.

‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’ is a much-used phrase from Scandinavia, where Forest School originated and as such we will take children out in the rain and the cold, though not where conditions are dangerous (wind and thunder). We encourage children to dress appropriately for conditions with parental support, but will also provide additional clothing where needed. It is important to us not just to showcase the outdoors on warmer, sunnier days but also to allow children to experience the beauty of frozen cobwebs and icicles, the excitement of splashing in puddles and the satisfying warmth of an outdoors hot chocolate on those colder days!