At Waverley we recognise the importance of working outside as a holistic tool to enhance language, science ,geography and other areas of the curriculum.
To enable children to learn through discovering aspects of the natural world that cannot be replicated in the classroom, e.g. frog spawn, habitats or seed dispersal.
It encourages engagement listening skills, open communication and practical learning for purpose, e.g. making shelters or replicating a camouflaged animal.
Learning is collaborative with regular feedback from the children.
Learning is often reflexive and child led.
Although adults assess risk and inform children of potential hazards children develop and manage their own risk and develop ideas to communicate these to others
To inspire a sense of wonder and respect for the natural world.
What is Forest school?
Forest school is a holistic approach to learning that engages children with the outdoors enhancing engagement, communication skills, teamwork and being active.The school curriculum can be directly linked by aspects of science, geography, history as well as art and technology.
The children should have input into the sessions choosing which areas they may want to learn about or wild materials they are able to cook with. Children can also take on challenges and games that help to instil a sense of achievement and teamwork.
Who is involved?
We aim to involve each child in a set of activities throughout the year. More recently we have involved class teachers in the sessions to help understand the different aspects of learning covered in each session.Teachers have been involved in helping to plan and assess lessons giving feedback to inform the next class's programme.
We have also taken part in training CT4T School Direct trainne teachers over the last two years during summer term.
Friday 17th February
Mrs Dalkin's class have had a fabulous few weeks at Forest School. Please see their class page for more photographs and details. Children - class pages - Year 3/4 Mrs Dalkin.
Wednesday 8th February
Today Mrs Dalkin's class went into the forest and had an outdoor maths lesson. See either Mrs Dalkin's class page or our maths page (key information - curriculum - maths) for more details and photographs.
Friday 3rd February
Mrs Dalkin's class visited the forest this morning to learn all about life cycles. Along the way we saw early signs of Spring, in terms of catkins from hazel trees, buds on willow and birds singing. We also saw a squirrel jumping from tree to tree and a woodpecker above our camp. The children also spotted a bat's home. They completed a muddy hill challenge which was great fun, Mrs Watson had to catch everyone!
We cooked our food and then completed some art with pine paintbrushes.
We know that super learners always ask questions - here are some from our Forest School trek to Denton Dene.
Our outdoor classroom is almost complete so today Forest School team returned to warm themselves with a campfire.
Mr Roberts showed them how to respect the fire and they cooked marshmallows.
The final part of the camp was the tipi - it finally arrived from Norway and was quickly put into place alongside the firepit area.
Cosy inside ready for the ground sheet and soon we will be able to use the area for outdoor lessons.
If you go into the woods today you sure in for a surprise! Lots of exciting things planned this year for Forest School, where the children can experience wonderful activities and experience outside in the outdoors, all led by Mr Roberts. We are also currently building our own 'Forest School Camp'.
The children all had lots of fun today on our school trip to Scotswood Community Nature Garden. We made small hedgehogs out of clay and other things we could find in the woods, such as twigs, leaves and berries. We also read the story of the Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and found some sticks to make flags and paint brushes.
What a wonderful day!
We also had a workshop based on Julia Donaldson's Stickman and we made paintbrushes with offcuts from a pine tree and paint from soil and water. We used these to paint flags as Stickman is mistaken for a flag mast at one point in the story.
Thanks again to all of the parents who volunteered their help on our trip - we really couldn't do it without you.
Our Robin Hood Day started at Hedley Hall Woods with pupils from Waverley and Newburn Manor.
It is our plan to visit to Hedley Hall regularly to work on aspects of conservation.
At Forest school we start by looking at three key things - how you deal with life in the outdoors yourself; how you work with other people and how you deal with the environment. Mr Roberts and Mrs Hibbert took aout UKS2 team to the Dene.
We undertook activities that allow us to think about ourselves. The light was beautiful!.
Our pupils enjoyed a beautiful morning in the Dene with Mr Roberts.
We considered the way the woodland area changes as we near the winter months.
We took part in problem solving activites to begin with - a nightline rope had to be followed as a warm-up.