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Outdoor Learning and Forest School

Outdoor Learning

Throughout the year, come rain or shine, children in Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage  take part in outdoor learning. This takes the form of teacher-led outdoor learning sessions and Forest School sessions.

Teacher-led outdoor learning sessions are centred on the interests and topics of the class at the time and link with many different areas of the curriculum. Past examples include creating their own 'Stickman' to take on a storytelling journey; testing which boat designs will allow Ernest Shackleton to travel across the ocean to Antarctica; making outdoor clocks; making dens; observing changes in leaves throughout the seasons; making bird-feeders and bug hotels and creating models and patterns from natural objects. Throughout sessions, there is a focus on skills such as creativity, communication, teamwork and perseverance.

Forest School

Forest School at Wychwood C of E Primary School is an exciting educational experience in the great outdoors. Children will be given the freedom to play, developing their curiosities while exploring the natural world. They will also learn to take risks and work together, developing their self-esteem, independence and creativity. Children will be given the opportunity to lead their own play, following their interests and ideas. The Forest School Leader will observe the children in their play and scaffold their learning when needed, developing their skills each session. Forest school will provide a hands-on approach in a fun and safe environment where the children will explore the woodland in almost all weathers. There is some overlap of activities with outdoor learning, but children also have further opportunities such as woodwork, using tools and campfire cooking. 

Our Forest School Principles

Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions. Children will be having Forest School sessions regularly throughout the year. Planning, adaptation, observation and reviewing are all integral parts of the Forest School process.
It takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment – We will be using a wooded area at the bottom of our school field which is separated off from the main field.
We aim to promote the holistic development of all of those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. Observing what the children do each week and developing these skills and interests further during the next visit.
We will offer learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves. For each activity carried out at Forest School a risk benefit assessment will be completed.
It will be managed by qualified Forest School Practitioners: Kristie Maunoury, Gemma Hetherington, Helen Lerwill and Kirsty Sleight).
We will use a range of learner centered processes to create a community for development and learning.
A Forest School program constantly monitors its ecological impact and works within a sustainable site management plan. Our children will be taught how to follow the country code. They will also be encouraged to think about their ecological impact in all activities and will leave the site as they found it.

The Forest School Principles and other information can be found at: http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/full-principles-and-criteria-for-good-practice/

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