Forest School - Information for Parents & Stakeholders
Forest School is an outdoor learning experience for children that takes place in a woodland environment. The sessions usually last for around 2 hours and are part of a series of experiences aimed at developing motivation, confidence, emotional intelligence and self-esteem, giving children hands-on experiences in open-ended, child-led sessions.
Sessions can be tailored to what a school wants to do with the program- it can target particular individuals or provide sessions for whole classes. At St. Luke’s, we have decided to use Forest School as a holistic program and that the sessions could really benefit particular children with specific issues, so have tailored the sessions to particular groups of children and restricted the number to a maximum of 12 children at a time.
Many of our children find classroom environments challenging, and a Forest School program can help them learn in a more child-friendly, kinaesthetic way that embraces all the senses, and can ultimately be linked to work & behaviour in class. It can help children deal with the underlying issues that may be causing them problems in the classroom, build their resilience and self-control and, ultimately, help them channel their energies in a positive way.
Children undertaking the program will be assessed for emotional-intelligence (using the Leuven scale) and will have brief case studies written about them, in order to a) decide what the Forest School program should focus on and b) to assess the impact of the program on a child's behavior.
Activities that will help children to develop the qualities detailed above (emotional intelligence, resilience, self-control, self-esteem) include supervised use of woodland tools, tree climbing, den building, fire lighting, knot tying and woodland activities, as well as reflection sessions and holistic development.
At the moment, we have a ‘private’ provider called ‘Incredible Education’ running our sessions (which take place in Worsley woods and is funded by a grant from the Salford Health Innovation Fund), but (Year 5 teacher) Mr. Porter is currently doing the level 3 training program to become a Forest Schools leader and, therefore, we will be able to run programs ‘in house’ & on a sustainable basis next academic year.
Sessions will always be managed by a minimum of 2 adults- the Forest School leader and one other member of St. Luke's staff.
For further information about Forest Schools, please use the link below-
Y5P Forest School Summer 2017
Year 3A - Autumn term 2016