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Forest School

Forest School



  • 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.

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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! 

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Year Three and Four Forest School Fun!

Key stage 2 planning

Bird watching with Laura from the RSPB.

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Mr Roberts told us all about spring and the things we might look for to tell us spring is on its way.
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Picture 2 We gave him some ideas an he wrote then down.
Picture 3 Mr Roberts showed us some things we might observe.
Picture 4 We started walking around the grounds.
Picture 5 We found some catkins straight away.
Picture 6 We looked at the willow branches to see the buds
Picture 7 We listened to the birdsong - a robin was chirping
Picture 8 We spotted some daisies shooting through the grass
We went into the camp to get warmed up and refreshed with a cooked snack and hot juice.
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Picture 2 We searched for more signs.
Picture 3 We ticked off the things on our list.
We then went into the classroom to make our own 'bees' to hang in the garden.

Today our Reception pupils ventured to our outdoor classroom. We prepared for the cold and met around the camp area. This pupil is very well prepared - wellies, gloves and a warm coat.
Picture 1 We then went into the tipi.
Picture 2 Mr Roberts began with some food preparation
Picture 3 He showed us how to prepare our food for cooking.
Picture 4 We also played some tipi games.
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Picture 7 We then made a fire for cooking.
Picture 8 Mr Roberts told us about keeping safe around fire
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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.

Picture 1 Why are some leaves icy and some not?
Picture 2 How do you stay safe when a dog approaches?
Picture 3 How do we know this leaf is from an oak tree?
Picture 4 Why do vibrations travel through the wood?
Picture 5 What happened to this fallen oak tree?
Picture 6 What did people long ago use this wood for?

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.

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Picture 3 The tipi is designed for Arctic conditions.
Picture 4 These pupils had a sneak peak...
Picture 5 ...before we put the finishing touches to the camp

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!



All of the children were well behaved and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We collected natural objects to make comfy homes for hedgehog hibernation. One hedgehog home even had a double sofa!



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.

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Picture 2 We started with some physical activity.
Picture 3 Hot drinks to keep warm.
Picture 4 Looking closely at the habitat.
Picture 5 Making bows with Mr Vyle.
Picture 6 Around the camp fire.
Picture 7 Toasting our food.
Picture 8 Tales of daring do!
Picture 9 Team work.
Picture 10 Forest Hoopla!

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.

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Picture 5 Hot drinks to keep us warm.
Picture 6 Finding material for shelter building.
Picture 7 Talking about our experiences.
Picture 8 Creating sculptures.
The Gardening Club started weeding today.
Picture 1 We plan to grow more than we did last year.
Picture 2 Eventually we will eat the produce.
Picture 3 We all turned the soil to get rid of the weeds.
Picture 4 We even helped the scarecrow.
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Have a look at what's happening the next time you are in the yard.
Mr Roberts took his merry band of adventurers to the Dene.

A fire can keep you warm in three ways!
Picture 1 You get warm by building the fire.
Picture 2 You get warm by sitting close to the fire.
Picture 3 You get warm by eating hot food cooked on the fire
Picture 4 Well done the Forest Rangers.
Picture 5 The aim was to build on last week's work
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Picture 7 Our friends from Scotswood Gardens helped us
Picture 8 We had to bcross muddy ditches with a ladder
Picture 9 The swamp was great fun!
Picture 10 Teamwork is very important.
Picture 11 We all used the bow saws.
Picture 12 Watch your fingers Mr Roberts.
Look out for more Forest School soon and visit the podcasts.

What do 'The Young Pioneers' do?
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Picture 3 They meet up with another school.
Picture 4 They have baked herring from Craster smoke house
Picture 5 They explore the harbour.
Picture 6 They take on challenges.
Picture 7 They visit castles.
Picture 8 They climb battlements.
Picture 9 They take in the beautiful view.
Picture 10 They investigate the ruins.
Picture 11 They dodge the waves.
Picture 12 They cross cold streams.
Picture 13 They rest for lunch.
Picture 14 They keep away from the cliff edge.
Picture 15 They look for treasure.
Picture 16 They walk the dunes.
Picture 17 They look at interesting creatures.
Picture 18 They form a team.
Picture 19 They cook for each other.
Picture 20 They dine together.
Picture 21 They gather around the camp fire.
Picture 22 They explore the rock pools.
Picture 23 They find crabs.
Picture 24 They look for lobsters.
Picture 25 They make a camp.
Picture 26 They save an injured person.
Picture 27 They admire the view.
That was a day... that was!
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Forest School Risk Assessment