Why is Forest School important?
Forest School is an important and valuable dimension to the children's school experience at Donisthorpe Primary School. It enables children to connect with nature and it fosters a sense of respect and ownership with the outdoor environment. Forest School activities are designed to develop self-confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences using natural materials. The children learn how to be safe, keep their friends safe and treat the site with respect. Forest School offers all children wider opportunities to thrive and celebrate skills that they wouldn't have the chance to share in the classroom.
Donisthorpe Primary School has developed its own Forest School programme, which is an important part of the curriculum for all year groups. We work with Dave Churchward from Little Acorns Forest Schools who provides forest learning both on our 11 acre school site and off site at Hicks Lodge.
Over the coming years our pupils will be working to further develop our own Forest School area on so that it can be used regularly by all classes throughout the year.
What do we do at Forest School?
At Forest School children can develop their team working skills and also learn to become more independent. Those who are unfamiliar with woodlands and green spaces can become confident in using them and this can form the basis of a life-long relationship with natural spaces. Children learn to recognise risk, why rules apply and how to be safe in an outdoor environment. Over time, children risk assess their own situations enabling them to explore, discover, problem solve and learn using the seasons, nature and the outdoor environment.
Elements of the curriculum are delivered outside and therefore sessions are part directed and part child led. When appropriate the children will learn how to use tools safely, bush craft skills, seasonal nature based activities and outdoor cooking. All activities are set in small achievable tasks that encourage the children to succeed.