Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. At Rollright, we designed our own version of Forest Schools several years ago and this experience is now offered to our Foundation and Key Stage One children. We are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by countryside and woodland to enable this programme to run throughout the year and now our children can also benefit from a onsite forest school area too. Sessions are designed around the needs of the group to ensure that they are learner-led. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as butterflies, spies, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered through this experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
As the school develops its new Forest School provision, this is being extended to the whole school.