Forest School sessions provide children with a chance to experience nature and the outdoors in a safe environment where children can have ‘hands on’ learning. At Whickham Parochial Pre-school we have our own small woodland with Forest School site within the school grounds. It is a broadleaved woodland, with a circular path which breaks off to lead children into wilder areas. There is fire circle where children can experience an open fire for warmth or cooking. We have rope swings, make dens, play hide and seek and hunt for fairies (even dinosaurs and pirates have invaded us). We encourage wildlife into our woodland by making insect hotels, hedgehog hibernation huts, bat and bird boxes and toad homes. Children are encouraged to explore these creatures but learn they must care for them at the same time. Children use real tools under supervision to help maintain the woodland and make fire wood.
We strongly believe this experience is valuable to children to allow them to learn to love wildlife and prevent them becoming ‘nature deficit’. Forest School develops children’s self esteem, self-confidence and ability to learn to manage risks for themselves. There are many risk assessments, policies, procedures and rules to help keep the children safe.
More information on Forest School and training providers