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Forest Schools

Ever wanted to get your pupils learning outside the classroom? Let Wild Elements deliver a tailored Forest School program to give you and your school class or group the opportunity to experience the outdoor environment and natural world in a woodland setting.

It is a tailored program which is participant led and can fit in with the themes of the school. This program runs for a minimum of 6 half day sessions over 6 weeks. However, it has been proven that there is a greater effect on participants the longer the duration of the program.

During the Forest school program we aim to work with the school to include the new Literacy and Numeracy Framework and other cross curriculum activities. As each Forest Schools is a unique program it is very adaptable to suit all participating groups needs. However, it follows 6 guiding principles

1.Long term, repetitive learning journey – looking at the process not the result.
2.Participant led – Empowers the participant to take control of their learning and development.
3.It is a holistic approach – small group sizes, stimulates all the senses and all learning types.
4.Promotes emotional, self-esteem & confidence development
5.It’s led by a Level 3 Forest School Leader
6.It allows the participant to gain a deep respect and awareness of the natural world
(Adapted from Ambrose, 2011)

 

 

 

During the program the participants will go through 3 stages during the progression of the program:

“This gives everyone a feeling of accomplishment and the experience is enhanced through adult led activities and games.”

  1. Getting an introduction to their site.

This is where they will get to know the site learn their boundaries and how to keep safe and agree upon rules so everyone has fun.

  1. They discover the site

The best opportunity to get to know the Forest School site is to build dens, move logs, forage for materials and to explore for bugs and wildlife. This gives everyone a feeling of accomplishment and the experience is enhanced through adult led activities and games. Importantly, this gives participants the chance to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. During the sessions the children get to engage in free play which lets then wonder and explore the site without restrictions, this grants them the opportunity to learn and explore on their own and allow their imaginations freedom to wonder. The longer these sessions are able to last the more time everyone will have to enjoy working, develop skills and develop as an individual.

  1. They become part of their surroundings

The group and the individual develop a sense of place which gives them more freedom to explore and develop as an individual, it also allows them to become more creative. This effect is increased during longer lasting programs and develops quickly to allow children especially an understanding of the local woodland.

 

 

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Cooking around the fire circle

 

 

Our sessions in the woods allows groups and schools a remarkable chance to develop their skills such as:

  • problem solving
  • improving focus and concentration
  • develop communication and social skills
  • cooperation and teamwork
  • self-awareness
  • confidence
  • independence

Regular visits to the same woodland gives greater opportunity to develop a sense of place which allows the individual to explore the woodland setting. They will have the opportunity to observe and learn about the natural environment through play. Participants will learn to trust themselves and others in a safe setting where they can accomplish tasks and eventually use their new-found skills and knowledge in a beneficial way to themselves, at home or in the classroom.

If you are interested in getting your school or group involved contact Tom on 07799566533 or email him at: tom@wildelements.org.uk.

 

References*
Ambrose, L., (2011) Forest School County-wide – a Norfolk Perspective IN Knight, S., ED (2011) Forest School for All, Sage, London