Our Forest School programme has been running since the primary school first opened. Along with our similar programme in our kindergarten, it was launched with guidance from a UK certificated Forest School leader.
WHAT IS FOREST SCHOOL?
UK Forest Schools were inspired by an approach to education which began in Scandinavia in the 1950’s as a way of teaching children about the natural world through first-hand experience outdoors. Outdoor learning is now an important part of the Scandinavian school curriculum, particularly in Denmark and Sweden.
THE VALUE OF FOREST SCHOOL
Children now spend far less time outdoors than their parents and grandparents did. This is partly because of the increase in traffic, the loss of open spaces where children can play freely, and concerns about children’s safety. In addition, increased use of the computer, TV and video games means that many children are spending more of their leisure time indoors.
Forest School provides a challenging but safe learning environment which enables children to:
- be physically active
- be creative
- take risks
- develop confidence and self-esteem
- learn about the natural world
- work both independently and with others
WHAT HAPPENS AT FOREST SCHOOL?
All children in Classes 1-3 spend one afternoon each month at Forest School, when they are taken by bus to the forest in Wapienica. An important part of the Forest School ethos is that children should experience the natural world in all seasons, regardless of the weather (except in the case of strong winds).
All Forest School lessons are delivered primarily in English, with additional support in Polish where necessary. The children play organised games that are related to the natural world. They take part in woodcraft activities, eg building shelters, making simple objects from natural materials etc. They also have the opportunity to spend part of each session on free play.