Forest School and Nature Garden
Forest School offers children the opportunity to develop an inquisitive and positive relationship with the natural world as well as instilling a love of the great outdoors. We use our woodland setting to bring learning to life with real tools and natural resources which will create an understanding of the balance of nature and the finite resources within it.
We are extremely fortunate to have our own beautiful copse at the Abinger Site where weekly Forest School sessions are run all year round by Mrs Phillips, our qualified Forest School Leader. We recognise the value of these sessions and now offer these sessions to all children in Key Stage 1 as part of the curriculum.
Children engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities, at different times of the year and in almost all weathers! They work with tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world. Working through practical problems and challenges helps children build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk whether this be designing a den, lighting a fire or making blackberry jam! Forest School is all about developing the children’s characteristics of effective learning which are so vital for future success.
In Key Stage 2, at the Westcott site, the children benefit from a Nature Garden and pond area where they experience their outdoor learning.
Our beautiful on site woodland has a range of native trees, shrubs and plants providing habitats for a wealth of creatures. There is even a tipi for the children!
What are the Characteristics of Effective Learning?
The ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ are ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment. These underpin all areas of a child’s learning and development.
|Playing and Exploring (Engagement)||Active Learning (Motivation)||Creating and Thinking Critically (Thinking)|
Finding out and exploring
Showing curiosity about objects, events and people
Using sense to explore the world around them
Engaging in open-ended activity
Showing particular interests
Playing with what they know
Pretending objects are things from their experience
Representing their experiences in play
Taking on a role in their play
Acting out experiences with other people
Being willing to 'have a go'
Showing a 'can do' attitude
Taking a risk, engaging in new experiences and learning by trial and error
Being involved and concentrating
Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time
Showing high levels of energy, fascination
Not easily distracted
Paying attention to details
Keeping on trying
Persisting with activity when challenges occur
Showing a belief more effort of a different approach will pay off
Bouncing back after difficulties
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Showing satisfaction in meeting their own goals
Being proud of how they accomplished something - not jst the end result
Enjoying meeting challenges for their own sake rather than external rewards or praise
Having their own ideas
Thinking of ideas
Finding ways to solve problems
Finding new ways to do things
Making links and noticing patterns in their experience
Testing their ideas
Developing ideas of grouping, sequences, cause and effect
Choosing ways to do things
Planning, making decisions and how to approach a task, solve a problem and reach a goal
Checking how well their activities are going
Changing strategy as needed
Reviewing how well the approach worked