Our Forest Explorers curriculum builds on our children’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risk, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.
The children’s interests along with the varied natural resources in our woodland are used to stimulate creative thinking, problem solving and skill development.
Our Forest Explorers learning environment provides opportunities for children to:
- Develop self-esteem
- Develop self-confidence
- Form positive relationships with others
- Develop a growing awareness of their emotional needs and the needs of others
- Learn to cooperate and work with their peers and adults
- Develop strategies in order to take risks within the boundaries of safety.
- Learn specific skills which link into the curriculum
- Develop knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and a forest environment
Forest Explorers is about exploring and experiencing the natural world through practical activities. The children go out in all weathers, all year round, exploring and learning from the seasons and changes in the environment.
Forest Explorers sessions are an extension of our PSHE 'Hearts andMinds' curriculum and provide rich opportunity to develop many PSHE skills and deepen their understanding of key PSHE concepts.
Our Outdoor Learning Leader (Mr Darling), our Forest Explorers practitioner (Mr Taylor) and our teaching staff are passionate and enthusiastic about an outdoors approach, and they work with our staff, parents and children to continually develop and improve our use of the fantastic school grounds that we are blessed with.
Our Forest Explorers is based on a Forest School approach, its roots in Scandinavia, where pre-school children spend their days outside in a woodland environment engrossed in hands on, child led learning experiences. The child led aspect of forest schools is perhaps the most crucial element with the outdoor environment facilitating the vast number of learning styles that children benefit from.
Our very own Mr Taylor is a Level 3 qualified Forest School practitioner and we have launched our Forest Explorers sessions from September 2019. During a series of Forest Explorers sessions, the range of activities can vary widely with the interests of participants but a typical set of sessions could include:
- Den building
- Willow weaving
- Ethereal art
- Flora/ fauna identification
- Fire lighting
- Cooking over an open fire
This list is by no means exhaustive but a flavour of our provision.