At Templewood School through weekly Forest School sessions we aim to instil a love of the great outdoors. Hands on experiences will develop self-esteem, confidence and independent learning. Templewood School envisage that Forest School will not be about adults telling children what to do and how to do it, but how to discover things for themselves. The use of the woodland setting, the various real tools and the natural resources will bring learning to life, creating an understanding of the balance of nature and the finite resources around us.
We aim to deliver child-led learning; carefully observing the interests and needs of each unique group of children in the early session stages, then letting the children lead the sessions through their own interests as the weeks progress. Adults will be there to scaffold and extend the endless learning experiences that will link in with the National Curriculum and EYFS. We want the children to take informed, self-calculated risks and choices to ensure their whole groups safety and enjoyment, whilst working as a team to solve problems, fostering communication and negotiation skills.
What is Forest School?
"Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees". Forest School Association (2013
The key features of Forest School are as follows:
As the children feel comfortable in the woods, the sessions become increasingly child-led and as such, Forest School is not about a set programme of planned activities. Children are given encouragement to direct their own learning. One class may spend two weeks looking for insects and move onto identification and habitat creation, whereas another group may not show this interest but may be intrigued by the mechanics of building a waterproof shelter large enough to house 6 children in, constructed with only natural materials. The role of supporting adults is therefore to stimulate, scaffold and extend the child's learning and observe them in play, to prepare for future sessions.
A Typical Forest School Session
The learning opportunities at Forest School are endless, but a typical session may involve the following:
7 To end the session we will gather and reflect.
“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.” The naturalist David Polis observed.