Forest School is a type of outdoor learning.
It is child led and built around play based learning.
Children at Whitehill Forest School are given the time, space and freedom to play and learn with each other and on their own.
At Whitehill we are lucky to have our very own Forest School site that the children can use and help with the sustainability of the site to make them feel that it belongs to them, which helps children feel safe and calm on site.
At Whitehill Forest School we offer different learning opportunities for our children through planning and delivering a wide range of activities.
These are planned with the child's individual needs in mind.
All classes get time in Forest School over the year and intervention groups are also ran.
Children take part in activities that may be perceived as risky , such as using tools, fire, building dens and climbing trees. We also make many different things and play lots of games. A lot of these activities are planned to let children asses their own risk and safety with adults nearby to assist if needed.
Forest School can help children gain confidence, self esteem, resilience, problem solving skills, motivation and communication and language skills.
As well as having a therapeutic nature letting children be one with nature and the outdoors encouraging them to gain skills to assist their
Whitehill Forest School aims to be;
- Child led
- Provide time for children to explore, play and relax in the outdoor environment.
- Provide a well planned activity each session that children can take part in if they want to, and that caters for their social and emotional needs.
- Cater for a child’s own interests that develop in the Forest sessions.
- Flexible, a session can change if a child wants to do something else.
What should I wear for Forest School?
Below is some additional information about Forest School
Look at some of the experiences and skills that have been happening in Forest School.
Forest School Learning Experiences 2022-2023
This year in Forest School we are focusing on having a positive Growth mindset and building our resilience.
During Autumn 1 we have been very busy solving problems and trying new things.
We've been on many bug hunts and nature hunts to become familiar with the site again.
We have created some fantastic pieces of art using materials we found in the forest.
Year 1 and 2 have completed activities based on the story Superworm. We practiced our knot skills and had a go at making a Superworm the fishing line, Superworm the skipping rope and Super room the swing.
Year 3 have enjoyed reading the story Zog and learning all about fire safety.
The week commencing 2nd May 2023 all the activities in Forest School were al linked to the King's Coronation.
We have used our knot skills, tools, threading skills and mud kitchen to create many different things.
We made flags and bunting.
We cooked up a feast fit for a King in the Mud kitchen.
We made wooden Coronation coins.
The children played in out den palaces.
Year One and Two went on a hunt of London using maps to get the King to the Abbey in time for the Coronation.
We had lots of fun in the sunshine.
Mental Health Awareness Week 15/05/23 - 19/05/23
In Forest School we took part in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week.
Being outdoors is good for us in so many ways.
If a connection to nature is established at a young age it can help develop healthy, lifelong positive behaviours in children and adults.
Evidence and studies have shown that being outside and connecting with nature can provide many health and wellbeing benefits including:
- Increase physical activity
- reducing the symptoms of stress
- promoting academic attainment.
With this in mind Forest School helps support the children's Mental Health here at school.
To celebrate we completed many different mindfulness and sensory activities. We checked in and out of sessions talking about our feelings, we played with mud, hugged trees, completed sensory hunts and had the opportunity to be with our peers in an outdoor setting.
During the Summer term in Forest School we have developed the Mud kitchen, celebrated 'International Mud Day' and took part in the Wildlife trusts '30 Days Wild'.
Forest School Learning Experiences 2021-2022
This year we are yet again very lucky that all classes can access Forest School this Autumn term.
This term we are going to be working and playing together to create, interact and reflect.
In Forest School we our going to be focusing on taking the lead with our own learning and risk assessing. This will help us build on our confidence and resilience.
We have started the Spring term looking at how we can help the birds that live and visit our Forest School site.
We have been making lots of different types of bird feeders and we even had a go at making our very own bird nests.
During the second half of the Spring term the Year Six class have been doing a lot of digging. This is because we have been involved in a tree planting project to celebrate Glossop Carton's 40th anniversary. Glossop Carton's that is on the Industrial Estate next to school very kindly donated over 40 trees to school. The Year Six children and some of the Nursery and Reception children have planted the trees on the school site during their Forest School time. Representatives from Glossop Carton's came over to school and took part in a some of the tree planting with Year Six. As a school we have been very impressed with the hard work and resilience of the children.
We have been looking out for signs of spring in Forest School. Lots of colour is popping up everywhere
This Summer half term we have been very busy in the Forest.
Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 have been looking at patterns in nature. They went on pattern hunts, drew patterns and created friendship bracelets.
We have been building and maintaining fires, playing in the Mud Kitchen and playing lots of games.
We finished the school year off with creating a mini mindfulness garden in front of the cabin.
Year 6 created bug hotels and wind chimes and year 3 planted herbs.
We created a space where we can sit and relax.
Forest School Learning Activities 2020-2021
This school year has started with a bang with every child in the school being able to come to Forest School this term.
During this Autumn term all children have been able to socialise with their peers in the Forest.
All children are taking part in activities that encourages teamwork and socialisation.
Whilst in Forest School all children have the opportunity to play, work, interact and communicate with each other.
We have been very busy down in the Forest building dens, making fires, creating pieces of art, making bird feeders and going on hunts.
This year we have had lots of fun playing and working with our peers.
We have learnt lots of new skills, from knots to building and maintaining a fire.
No matter the weather we've played games and socialised with our classmates.
Forest School Learning Activities 2019-2020
This school year sessions have been planned with team building and social interaction in mind. As well as continuing to build on previous years work on understanding our emotions.
During sessions children have been encouraged to play alongside others. Children have been give the opportunities to interact, communicate, share thoughts and feelings, support each other and play with each other.
Activities are planned to encourage;
- playing alongside or with others
- communicating with others
- being able to solve their own problems and conflict.
Hopefully these skills learnt and tested in the forest will be extended into the classroom and school environment by the child. Hopefully children will use the skills to aid their time and wellbeing inside the classroom.
Children are given the time to experiment and develop new skills in relation to social skills, peer interaction and conduct. This is done through playing, working and being with peers in the forest.
Some of the activities we have done so far this year have been;
- den making
- habitat making
- role play
- fire safety
- circle games
- team games
- using tools.
Nursery Forest School Sessions 2019-2020
.Our Nursery Forest School sessions provide a specialised learning approach that offers children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a natural environment with trees Many of the activities within forest schools are child-led, and the activities will follow the direction in which children choose to take them. They may decide to work independently, working on developing their own problem solving skills and creativity, or they may join up with other children and work within teams. This is excellent for children’s social development, as they will learn how to collaborate within a team, and how to share their ideas and to listen to others
Forest School Learning Activities 2018-2019
Year 3 have enjoyed the fabulous outside learning area. They have been learning how to safely make a camp fire and to use a range of different tools!
Nursery Forest School Sessions 2016-17
Reception Forest School Sessions 2016-17