The philosophy of Forest School is rooted in the same pedagogy as Early Years practice – hence the approach dovetails within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The specially tailored outdoor and indoor sessions increase the educational standards of our children by developing the key learning areas outlined within the EYFS principles.
As children go through their school life, Forest School can provide space and time to apply their concepts and skills they have acquired to the real world. Forest School skills can be drawn on to support children with their learning and understanding and therefore raise individual achievements.
The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
The EYFS is made up of seven key areas of learning and development. The prime areas are:
There are then a further four specific areas of development that cover:
We have developed teaching processes within the EYFS’ key areas of development and learning framework that are tailored to maximise the opportunities that our setting provides.
Our role is to ensure emotional well-being and to help them to know themselves and what they can do.
This area provides children with experiences and support to help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others; respect for others; social skills and a positive disposition to learn. Our role is to ensure emotional well-being and to help them to know themselves and what they can do.
We have designed our education programme to enable the children to develop their inter-personal skills so that they can establish relationships and to understand and manage their behaviour and feelings, naturally increasing self-confidence and self-awareness.
|We encourage physical development in our children providing them with lots of active opportunities, both indoors and outdoors, improving their skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement.
Our 165 acres of woodland give the children the space and ability to maximise their physical development. Outdoor den building, rope swings and making shelters for animals helps the children to get the exercise and fresh air that they need to develop strength and physical well-being.
In this area we also support healthy lifestyles and self-care, leading to more independence and confidence. The children will be taught about healthy living, nutritious diets and also have the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables within the club’s allotment.
|We encourage activities involving gross and fine motor skills – leading in turn to increased hand-eye co-ordination.
|We focus children’s learning and competence in communicating, speaking and listening by providing numerous opportunities to use their skills in a wide range of situations and purposes that support their development, confidence and disposition to do so.
We actively encourage the children to communicate and experience a broad range of emotions, language and behaviour by working both individually and in groups with the children. We encourage children to participate in turn-taking and listening games – as conversational skills involve waiting and listening to another person and speaking at the appropriate times
|We offer a wide variety of opportunities to increase literacy abilities. With our continued relationships with the local schools, we design many indoor and outdoor learning opportunities to aid the children’s understanding of phonics – significantly increasing their progression to reading and writing.
To provide the children with a variety of techniques, we write in the mud and sand of the woodland with sticks as well as writing with paper and pencil back inside. Using different methods to write varies the children’s learning and keeps their attention levels high.
|Our wonderful nature reserve is the best place for children to understand maths in a fun environment.
From parachuting bears from trees and creating contours in rivers from rocks, our science experiments enable children to start to encounter mathematical skills and problem solving.
|Space, shape and measurements are more readily understood with practical experiences that classroom teaching alone cannot develop.
The natural shapes created by the trees and bushes can be manipulated by our team to teach the children how to understand changing shapes and measurements.
This is a natural and exciting way for the children to understand and want to expand their mathematical knowledge.
The introduction of counting and maths using fun materials from the woods or counting real life animals and birds as they move around the woods fascinates the children and boosts their learning.
|It is important for children to understand people, communities and the world around them. We have a fantastic team that always goes above and beyond to arrange new and imaginative learning experiences for the children.
The children can develop hands-on experience with technology in the ever increasing technological world that we live in.
We do this by enabling children to use digital cameras to take pictures of the world around them, especially the trees, plants and animals within our woodlands.
We also have child friendly tablets with interactive games to boost their Information Technology skills.
|We luckily have an abundance of readily available wood at our disposal for the children to cut, shape and create new items to use in the woods and as part of their learning. Both our indoor and outdoor discovery zones help the children to understand and explore nature and the world around them.
This area involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings.
|Painting and basic arts and crafts give children an appreciation of colour, texture and perspective – as well as fun through messy play. Inside the children can create masterpieces using corn flour, pasta, jelly and ‘goop’, whilst outside they can use leaves, twigs, mud and mud cooking to enhance their development.
We spend time discussing classic art pieces with the children, as well as artistic and famous landmarks and buildings from around the world.