We believe that learning outside the classroom is about raising achievement where direct experience is of prime importance. This is not only about what we learn but how and where we learn. Since 2017 we have been developing a stimulating outside learning environment that is rich and dynamic to enhance provision in all areas of our curriculum. Since September 2018, Forest School has been provided for all pupils from Reception to Year 6 and all classes engage in outdoor learning to bring the curriculum to life. Mrs Plumb is our Forest School Lead and she delivers sessions to all classes throughout the year.
Forest School is a unique approach to learning in which the holistic developement of the child is at the very centre of practice. It takes place in a natural environment and uses natural materials to inspire children to create and make. This enables learners to connect deeply to the natural world around them and develop conservation mindsets to preserve and protect it for genrations to come. Forest School provides opportunities for children to evalute and take measured risks, to work with full sized tools for green woodworking, as well as light and cook around the campfire. Play, choice and reflective practice are an important part of the ethos. Forest School resonates perfectly with our Core Values of Enjoyment, Creativity, Resilience, Independence, Challenge and Aspiration.
We have three important rules at Etchells Forest School:
We look after ourselves.
We look after each other.
We look after the natural world.
Forest School is governed by six distinct guiding principles, these can be fully accessed via the Forest School Association's website:
"Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting." Forest School Association.
This short video explains what Forest School is in a nutsell - What is Forest School?