‘Forest school is an innovative educational approach to outdoor learning’.
Every Wednesday here at Forest Explorers in Delamere Forest, we hold our Forest School sessions. Our forest ‘classroom’ is set aback from our classroom and main forestry area, and is situated in a small peaceful area of the forest fully dedicated to running our Forest School. We run two hour sessions over three slots every Wednesday, during term time. 9.30-10.30, 11 – 12, 1 – 2. Our sessions are for parents and toddlers, aged 2 – 4 years.
Forest School is a way of working with children outdoors, helping them learn, whilst developing physically, emotionally and socially and forming an appreciation and respect for the environment. The sessions are child-led and child-initiated and aim to allow the child to follow their own interests and develop at their own pace. The sessions are also linked to a number of curriculum subjects and are a valuable teaching resource.
Our Forest School leader is extremely enthusiastic and believes Forest School should be available to all children. She holds the level 3 OCN Forest School practitioner qualification.
In our sessions, our activities always range depending on the season, what is available to us in the forest, which ranger is leading the session, however typically they always includes a welcome song around our fire circle, a run through of safety rules incorporated into a game, ranger directed activities, a window for free play, finished off with tasty treats toasted on the fire with a drink whilst sharing and reflecting on the session.
We are very lucky to have such a wonderful woodland space, and so we have various different areas for the children to play and let their imaginations run wild. Some of our most popular areas are our mud kitchen, where the children can make mud pies, paint the trees with mud, role play with their friends, make potions and perfumes. Our forest swing is always so much fun, as is our obstacle course, another favourite. Our newest area to our space is the arts and music section. Colourful and engaging, we have a chalk board, to doddle and create lovely pictures alongside bright, colourful natural instruments that hang off the trees and encourage the children to make different sounds.
What are the benefits of Forest School to children?
Research has shown that Forest School increases children’s confidence, self-esteem, independence, self- awareness, motor and social skills. As the weeks continue, the sessions are built on and the children learn to understand boundaries, stay safe whilst taking risks, explore at their own level and pace and use and develop creative imaginations.
We love our Forest School sessions here at Forest Explorers, and the children who come to our sessions always have brilliant fun. We do currently have spaces available on our Wednesday slots. If you would like to come and try a Forest School session, please drop us an email via our website or contact us on our Facebook page to get booked in https://www.facebook.com/forestexplorers/
Sessions are £5 per child, and adults come along for free. Please note that our sessions run whatever the weather, so that our children can experience all the seasons! We believe there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! We hope to see you soon!