What is Forest School?
Forest School is a programme developed from a Danish educational initiative. Children and young people work and play in the outdoors, helping to build self-esteem, social skills and independence. Hands-on activities with natural materials develop practical and intellectual skills, which can be linked to the our curriculum. Forest School aims to boost confidence through setting students up to succeed. Tasks are broken down into small achievable chunks that are matched to students’ capabilities.
In addition, Forest School helps children become part of an effective, efficient team and to participate in a range of creative, sensory and environmental awareness activities.
Forest School uses children’s learning styles as a basis for the presentation of all activities. Children who learn visually can access learning through the demonstrations. All activities are presented through speech for those children who learn orally. Freedom to touch, feel and “do” satisfies the kinaesthetic learner.
Forest School in Abbey Primary
In the school year 2020/2021 Abbey Primary School worked in partnership with NIFSA to become an official Forest School.
Using our large, mature site, we make the most of our surroundings to take our learning outside as much as possible. With the recent addition of ‘The Mill’, our outdoor classroom, we make use of our outside environment all year round. Children are given the opportunity to play co-operatively and creatively with their peers and enjoy being outdoors whatever the weather!
We love to use nature to support learning which involves weekly Forest school sessions with many of our classes.
The importance of Forest School.
The Forest School programme is a brilliant way of taking children and learning out of the classroom, and re-introducing them to the outdoors whilst helping all areas of their development. It allows them to enjoy the freedom of directing their own learning without inhibitions and exploring and experiencing a new environment. Creating a Forest school environment and ethos in our school that develop the holistic nature of our children’s exploration and learning is a privilege. We hope, in time, every child will have access to our Forest School and take advantage of all it has to offer. The benefits and opportunities for our children are boundless.
Please check out NIFSA for further information about Forest school.