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Forest SchoolForest School

Forest School is a concept born originally from Wisconsin, USA in the 1920’s but became more recognised in the 1950’s when it was embraced in Scandinavia – where is was embedded as part of the pre-school curriculum. It is only over the last 20 years that it has truly impacted on learning in the UK.

The main principle of Forest school is 'inspiration'. It is about giving the participants (especially children) the opportunity to develop confidence, self-esteem and respect in a natural setting. By providing a safe and welcoming environment, we can encourage the children to take risks, make choices and use their initiative.

Not only this, but as the learning takes place in a natural setting, it gives the child an admiration of nature and the environment and teaches them how to respect and care for it. As the learning process is child-led, it is suitable for children of all ages and particularly those with special educational needs.

The children not only have imaginative play but they are also tasked to learn practical and basic survival skills. As well as the physical skills, they must use mental skills to manage risk. By the very nature of being based outdoors and being a physical activity – it supports our children in a healthy lifestyle. Children must work together to overcome obstacles and create fun scenarios – which encourages team building and social skills.

Whilst learning in the woodland environment – children can begin to understand the importance of the tree and how it is the most environmentally sustainable building material and essential to everyday life.

In order to follow the true ethos of Forest School learning – this must be overseen by a fully qualified Forest School Practitioner and it must be a long term process. 

 

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