Forest School

Forest School offers pupils an educational experience in a ‘wild woodland’ setting, with safe, experiential learning about the world around them and how to care for it. The pupils have regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences.

This learning environment offers increased opportunities to develop problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills whilst increasing their ability to deal with their own and others emotions.

Pupils develop skills for simple conservation, creating shelters, making fires and cooking. Alongside this pupils will learn about seasonal changes and there will be time for games and fun!

Creech Woods and 100 Acre Woods are used to help pupils to:

· Increase their confidence in outdoor settings

· Use the setting for imaginative play

· Assess and manage risks to themselves and others

· Develop their communication and language skills

· Investigate how the natural world affects them

· Push themselves outside their comfort zones

· Have a sense of achievement and success.

It’s been fairly damp this half term but that hasn’t stopped children enjoying Forest school and adding in some Beach school too!

As the upper school topic is all about Pompey, the classes have been focusing on using basic tools to create a simple model of the Spinnaker tower. Using a brace drill to create a hole in the base, joining materials and adding sticks, thinking about what they need. Lots of teamwork was imperative to create each masterpiece!

Each class has visited Eastney beach too; with Elephant class opting for a whole half term as they had been communicating about it so well in the classroom J   On the beach the children have learnt about water safety, found some special objects and had the chance to paddle with or without wellies; a firm favourite despite the cold!

Children have explored what the beach is like as a habitat using symbols to identify things including driftwood and seaweed. They also had to observe closely to find a stone or shell with a hole in it to create their very own beach medals, which they were very proud of. At low tide the children could make designs in the sand and sandcastles too. Bradley’s one was haunted and he told his friends all about it!

Forest School 

Forest School offers children the opportunity of an educational experience in a ‘wild woodland’ setting, with safe, experiential learning about the world around them and how to care for it. The children have regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment. It fosters self-esteem and self-confidence skills, dealing with emotions though problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork. They will develop skills for simple conservation, creating shelters, making fires and cooking. Alongside this children will learn about seasonal changes and there will be time for games and fun!

Creech Woods and 100 Acre Woods are used to help pupils to:

  • Increase their confidence in outdoor settings
  • Use the setting for imaginative play
  • Assess and manage risks to themselves and others
  • Develop their communication and language skills
  • Investigate how the natural world affects them
  • Push themselves outside their comfort zones
  • Have a sense of achievement and success.

All pupils at Cliffdale take part in Forest School for a morning or afternoon, once a week, for a whole term at some point each year. We have our own trained, experienced and skilled Forest School teacher whom the children affectionately now call ‘Forest Fran’! Everyone has a wonderful time and each achieves so much as the term goes on.

 

 

September 2019

It’s been a beautiful sunny start to our forest school learning this year and seeing the children confident in the environment and watching how they’ve progressed since we introduced it here at Cliffdale is just brilliant.

The children have been discussing the impact of litter on the forest environment as part of basic conservation. Many of them can name litter they might find and what it is made from. They have also thought about how it may cause harm to animals that inhabit the forest too. The children thought the best way to help would be to help get rid of any we found. Using litter pickers they worked together as a team spotting lots of sweet wrappers, cans, plastic bottles and straws.

Some of the children made little houses for the animals to protect them too! They worked together in pairs and then went to evaluate each other’s work giving each one a positive comment. What do you think of their designs?

A few of the children found a letter ‘F’ made out of sticks and then used natural materials to make their own initial. They chose sticks too and were very proud of their work.

 

Spring term Forest School has been rather damp but that hasn’t stopped the children from learning and challenging themselves in the forest.

Panda class have been using the forest to explore the traditional tales they’ve been reading in class. Ava demonstrated brilliant acting as the grandma from ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’  MJ chose the hair and clothes, while Adian used early whittling skills to create a Goldilocks stick puppet. Luke enjoyed using his ‘mummy bear’ puppet to come back to the house and find her ‘Porridge all gone!’

Leopard class have been exploring the forest using a sensory approach with items including mirrors, a ribbon curtain, hammocks and bubbles. Sanika has a definite favourite and loves to look at her face and the canopy in the mirror. Francesca is getting adventurous discovering the texture of different leaves, trees and sticks.

Lion and Alpaca class have been learning about fire lighting using a flint and steel which Tommy and Finley discovered is quite a tricky skill. They can now gather suitable firewood and be safe in the fire area. Toasting marshmallows to make smores was a big hit for Ben and Harry!

In Orangutan class the children have been exploring the forest and learning about push and pull forces.  Amjet, Olek and Ronnie investigated this by putting sticks in a bucket attached to a rope and trying to pull them up.

Another great term in the forest!

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