As a rural village school we like to make the most of our surroundings which involves taking our learning outside as much as possible. We love to use the natural environment to support learning which involves weekly forest school sessions with children from Reception to Year 6. We think it is valuable that children in KS2 still get the opportunity to learn through exploration and taking risks.
“It is argued that taking risks can have positive implications in terms of children’s developmental, social and emotional needs, as well as their overall health. By providing the opportunities for children to manage their own risks in a controlled environment, they will learn vital life skills needed for adulthood, and gain the experience needed to face the unpredictable nature of the world.” (Gill, 2007)
However, throughout our forest school sessions we do expect children to develop skills and knowledge which support other areas of the curriculum. We have split the skills we want all the children to achieve into four categories; fire, tools, knots and den building, environment and map skills. From this we have created skill development sheets for each year group.
“In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chapparal, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness. We require these patches of nature for our mental health and our spiritual resilience.” (Louv, 2006)