Forest Schools is a programme designed to develop personal and social skills such as confidence, self-esteem, independence, cooperation and collaboration. It gives children the chance to learn and explore the natural outdoor environment, how to solve problems and how to handle risks. This involves physical activities, outdoor cooking and lots of outside adventures! There is a focus on play and allowing time for exploration and child initiated learning whilst also teaching new skills, such as safe tool use.
Here at Queen Mary, Mrs Gibbins & Mrs Bonna lead two groups of 10 children outside every week as part of Forest Schools. The sessions run for a whole term, giving time for children to bond as a group, meet new friends and develop a sense of team spirit. All appropriate clothing is provided as we really do go out in all weathers....even the snow!
Every session we enjoy a snack either of bread & butter or something cooked over the fire & always enjoy a mug of chocolate.
“Over the weeks, I really see the children grow. It is great to see them broadening their social circles, forming new friendships with children they may not have otherwise experienced playing with. It always amazes me how far their independence comes in a relatively short space of time. The children quickly learn the routines and before long, are taking the lead, working as a team. They show respect for one another, develop greater empathy and become more considerate towards each other.”
Forest Schools Lead Practitioner