Forest School helps children to grow in confidence as a result of the freedom, time and space they are given in their learning. This allows them to demonstrate independence at each individual child’s rate.
2) Social skills
Activities such as sharing tools and participating in play help teach the children to work together as a group, which strengthens their bonds and social ties.
The sensory experiences provided by Forest School’s helps prompt language development. Improving communication skills has a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem and is a crucial part of their development.
4) Motivation and concentration
High levels of interest lead to high levels of attention. Spending time in the woodland is exciting for a child. It tends to fascinate them which develops a strong will to participate and concentrate over long periods of time.
5) Physical skills
The increase in outdoor activity is bound to have a positive physical impact. Not only does the development of physical stamina improve but also gross and fine motor skills.
6) Knowledge and understanding
Children develop an interest in the great outdoors and respect for the environment. Encouraging children to develop a relationship with the natural world will help in protecting the environment for generations to come.
7) New perspectives
Forest School isn’t just beneficial to children it is also beneficial to teachers. Observing their class in a different setting allows them to gain a new perspective and understanding of their class.
8) Ripple effects
When children really engage with Forest Schools they will take their experiences home to share with friends and family. This will often encourage families to visit their local woodlands more frequently.
9) Levels the playing field
Taking children outside of the classroom removes the pressures of academia and allows them to play to their strengths. This is beneficial to children who struggle in the classroom because there is more of an opportunity for them to learn at their own pace.
10) Enjoyable for the children
Forest Schools are fun! It is educational whilst also allowing children to play, explore and discover. Children who participate in Forest Schools are generally observed to be happier. The fresh air, the excitement, getting mucky – it doesn’t get child friendlier than that.
The ethos of Forest School at St Uny Academy is based on a respect for children and their capacity to initiate, investigate and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in a child's right to play; the right to access the outdoors; the right to experience risk in a controlled way in the natural world along with the right to develop their emotional intelligence through social interaction, building a resilience to enable creative engagement with their peers and their potential.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners, including those with SEND, from EYFS to Year 6, regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a natural environment. Forest School practice embraces collaborative, unexpected and ultimately unlimited learning. Children are encouraged to direct their own learning - this is often inspired by our Forest School leader either through stimulating play in the outdoors or through 'scaffolding' a child's learning, but mostly through simply observing how children are in the outdoors. The most important thing is to encourage the natural curiosity present in children and to enable them to open their eyes and experience the wonders of the world around them.