"Meeting outside the woodland, excitement is in the air. The birds are chirping, the gentle wind rolls across the hills while wellington boots search for puddles.
The woodland has been checked and the equipment is ready to be taken with us, our focus in on the wellbeing, physical and emotional, of each person within our community.
Gathering together, we check in on how each person is feeling and what they wish to explore during their time in nature. We introduce new ideas and invite them to engage our help when they wish to.
The woodland space is a blank canvas, full of textures and materials to enrich the senses and stimulate the learning journeys that we will all undertake. As leaders we have both an idea for the direction of the day should learners need us to provide this for them, but also understand the importance of encouraging them to decide their own direction.
During this time of exploration and discovery, our role as a leader is to provide the nurturing they need whilst also encouraging them to stay with challenge and to make sense of the experiences they have. Through review and reflection their voices are heard, and their emotions are recognised."
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and complements the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.
- Forest school is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
- Forest school takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Forest school uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- Forest school aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest school offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Forest school is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
Shelley Richards, Forest School Leader at Arc School, Napton