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We are very fortunate at Heronswood that our school is situated on an extensive site where we already have areas which can be further developed to enhance the learning opportunities for all of our children.

 

At Heronswood, Forest School provides our children with a space to think, create, explore and investigate.  So often children can demonstrate a freedom to their thinking when working outdoors, that is different from when in the classroom.   It is our role as adults to enable children to open up their thinking and challenge themselves. 


Key to successful support in the forest school environment is the use of questioning to enable children to justify their thinking and answers.  We see this as supported risk taking, enabling children to open the boundaries of their thinking and try out new
ideas.


Forest school sessions provide core woodland skills development, using tools such as bow saws, penknives and axes, lighting a fire and managing trees through coppicing.  Utilising these skills can open up the parameters of the environment.  It can be developed into a Celtic settlement, re-enactment of Egyptian life, a science park, a living museum or a setting for traditional tales. 

 

The natural world combined with the imagination and creativity of children can be adapted to meet any need, in any aspect of the curriculum.


The philosophy of Forest Schools is to inspire children outside the constraints of a conventional classroom environment.  It enables children who are more practically minded to feel success by applying and justifying their thinking in different natural contexts.

 

 

 

Principles of Forest School

-frequent and regular sessions

-opportunities to work collaboratively

-develop physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and spiritual aspects of learning

-clear behaviour boundaries

-space to explore and discover

-time for free choice

-opportunities to experience supported risks

-foster positive attitudes

-expand motivation and interests

-foster relationships with nature

-develop sustainable attitudes

-monitor ecological impact

-learn about ecological impact on the environment

-links between indoor and outdoor learning

-links between home and school education

-time to observe children in a new environment 

-time to reflect on practice

-time to plan for and develop emotional maturity