Forest Schools at Dinting Primary

 

Our children will access Forest Schools in extended, regular sessions at different times of year so that they are able to interact as a developing community of learners; using growing skill sets and changing emotional maturity. This approach allows Forest Schools to be a reflective process for the children and leaders, and gives time for the development of ideas and expansion of available responses, building on previous learning.

The pedagogy of Forest Schools is child-led. The children are given the choice to take part in ‘scaffolded’ activities or learn new skills with leaders, but this is their free choice. We value children’s needs relating to play, the outdoors, and experiencing a range of emotional and physical experiences.

The Forest Schools leader is available as an enabler, but it is a key part of the approach that children realise for themselves what they need to learn in order to meet their desired outcome. The adult is not teaching the children ‘the best way’ to do something: the children are allowed to experiment with guidance relating to safety and access to learning new skills.

Our Forest Schools programmes support children to engage with the outdoor environment. We have a Level 3 trained Forest Schools leader, Caroline Burns, who plans and runs our Forest Schools to ensure that the values and our ethos are maintained throughout every session. The Forest Schools leader ensures safety and opportunity for the children to access activities at a level which they are comfortable with but allowing and encouraging risk taking.