Forest School


What is Forest Schools?

Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia in the 1950s as a way of learning about the natural world, by the 1980s they had become an integral part of the Danish early years program. Forest Schools are successful for children of all ages who visit the same woodlands on a regular basis. Through play, they learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. Sessions run throughout the year in all weathers. Children explore, play, learn boundaries of behaviour and grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation.  Watch this short video by Surrey County Council explaining the use of a Forest School approach in EYFS which matches our approach at Parkhead Primary School.

Our Forest School Site

We are exceptionally lucky at Parkhead Primary School to have such a vast, natural, native woodland on site. Within our woodland there is a variety of flora and fauna. The children love to observe the natural changes to the environment.

How will my child benefit from Forest School?

Through the Forest School ethos we aim to provide children with opportunities to take measured risks, learn more about themselves and their relationships with others. Under the guidance of a fully qualified Forest School Leader we aim for all children to experience nature in a hands on, safe secure and supported environment. Activities are carefully planned to provide small achievable tasks so that no child will fail thus helping to raise self-esteem and confidence in every child. Children learn how to work with and react to the natural environment.

Will my child be safe?

The short answer is yes, each Forest School session is fully risk assessed. There will always be at least 1 fully qualified Forest School leader at each session and one other adult. Forest School sessions take place on school grounds which are completely secure. Children will learn to manage their own risks and work within their personal physical and mental limitations.

Who will organise and run the Forest School sessions?

Sessions will be planned and run by fully qualified Forest School leaders: Mrs McDermid, Mrs Latimer, Mrs Forster or Miss Stott. All curriculum areas can be taught within the Forest School with some being taught through activities such as: cooking on an open fire, shelter building, using hand tools and much, much…

Why do children take part in Forest Schools?

At Parkhead Primary we aim to use this powerful approach to learning to teach our children to be independent, self motivated, courageous, considerate and set them up for life long learning.  Read  more about Nature deficit disorder discovered by Richard Louv.  This disorder is a negative outcome of modern life for many.  Watch this short clip of Richard Louv being interviewed by Canada AM.

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