Genesis 2:15 Good News Translation (GNT) of the Bible.
“Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.”
Our Forest School Vision Statement:
At Salehurst School Forest School, we aim to build self-esteem, independence, resilience and respect in children through the exploration of, and experiences in a natural environment. Preparing the children with skills for an ever changing world.
At Salehurst CE Primary School, we are lucky to have our own grounds, including a woodland area, a pond and a large playing field. We are also in close proximity to local woods and the wonderful Sussex countryside. We are keen to encourage opportunities for outdoor learning at Salehurst, and as part of this desire, we will be implementing the Forest School programme for the children.
We believe that Forest School will benefit the holistic development of our children by:
Helping their confidence by giving them freedom, time and space to develop.
Increasing their independence and resilience by learning from trial and error.
Aiding their social skills and communication from learning through team activities and play.
Growing physical skills with strength and stamina and evolving gross and fine motor skills.
Developing a love and understanding of nature and an interest in their surroundings.
Our Forest School Ethos
During our Forest School lessons, we wish to nurture a true love of nature and the great outdoors. We aim to deliver a wide range of stimulating hands-on opportunities for the children to develop both confidence and self esteem through an environment of independent learning, team games and group activities.
While initial ideas will be provided by the adults in early sessions, through observation and discussions with the children each group will develop their unique programme in a fresh direction, as the children lead the progression through their interests and ideas. The adults will be there to help scaffold their ideas and extend learning by linking them to the national curriculum.
Children will be encouraged to take informed risks, developing their own safety codes and risk management decisions, helping them to make better risk judgements throughout life.
We will develop a special area within the school grounds where the children can nurture the natural environment: encouraging wild species and living in harmony with nature. During the lessons we will be instilling the fundamental principal that we should always aim to leave an area better than we find it, giving back where we have taken resources, helping to making the world a sustainable place.
What is Forest School?
At Forest School, children learn through play and exploration; children learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and to use their own initiative to solve problems and cooperate with others. As stated by the Forest School Association (2013): "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".
The key principles of Forest School are as follows:
- Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visit.
- Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
The opportunities to learn at Forest School are endless, but here are some examples of possible activities:
- Sensory walks
- Shelter building
- Mini beast hunts
- Campfire cooking
- Nature art
- Outdoor games
- Fire building and lighting
- Puddle and mud jumping
- Making rope bridges and swings