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Forest Schools

 

Give you, your class or your group the opportunity to experience the outdoor environment and natural world in a woodland setting with a tailored Forest School programme delivered by Wild Elements. (Yes, teachers, Forest Schools fit in with the Donaldson Report!)

 

Our programmes provide participants with a fabulous chance to develop skills, such as:

  • Problem-solving

  • Improving focus and concentration

  • Developing communication and social skills

  • Cooperation and teamwork

  • Self-awareness

  • Confidence

  • Independence

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.

Forest Schools is a unique programme that can be adapted to suit the needs of all  participants, both on an individual and group level. We tailor our programmes to fit topics of most interest and/or classroom subjects, providing a bespoke learning experience defined by you. Furthemore, our Forest Schools (as with all our education programmes) fulfil the new Literacy and Numeracy Framework and include other cross-curricular themes, such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

Sessions are participant led, though the Forest School programme follows 6 guiding principles:

1. Long-term, repetitive learning journey – looking at the process not the result
2. Participant led – Empowering the participant to take control of their learning and development
3. Holistic approach – Small group sizes, stimulates all the senses and all learning types
4. Promotes the development of emotion, self-esteem & confidence
5. Led by a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader
6. Allows participants to gain a deep respect and awareness of the natural world
(Adapted from Ambrose, 2011)

Forest School programmes run for a minimum of 6 half-day sessions over 6 weeks, though, as results show, the longer the programme duration, the greater the effect on participants.

During the programme, participants go through 3 stages of progression:

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

1. Introduction to the site

Participants get to know the site, learn their boundaries and how to keep safe, and agree upon rules so everyone has fun.

2. Site discovery

Discovering the Forest School site involves building dens, moving logs, foraging for materials, exploring the space and hunting for bugs and wildlife. Site discovery gives participants the chance to:

  • Use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others, giving everyone a feeling of accomplishment
  • Explore the site without restrictions, granting participants the opportunity to use their imaginations freely
  •        Engage in free play

The longer these sessions last, the more time everyone will have to develop skills and develop as an individual.

  1. They become part of their surroundings

Regularly visiting the same woodland allows individuals and the group to observe the woodland setting and learn about the natural environment through play. The group and the individual develop a sense of place, giving them more freedom to develop and allowing them to become more creative. This effect is increased during longer lasting programmess and develops quickly to allow children a deeper understanding of the woodland.

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Cooking around the fire circle

 

If you are interested in getting your school or group involved, please contact Tom on 07799 566533 or 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