We can tailor the sessions to the needs of schools and parents, activities can be planned to tie in with the class’ current learning journey or to consolidate prior learning in different curriculum areas.
Usually the first sessions will focus on core skills and safety. Activities will increase week on week and may include: games; storytelling; natural art activities; use of tools (if skills and behaviour indicators secured); exploring, nature watching and bug hunting; climbing, rolling; practical woodland skills (e.g. willow weaving); building dens, sculptures; time to be quiet, reflect or talk; develop the ability to observe silently – to look and hear what’s happening around them.
If schools wish for a one off visit this can be bespoke and tailored to their needs and the topics they are covering.
Forest School sessions seek to consolidate all areas of the curriculum and build and extend knowledge:
LITERACY - Children will use descriptive vocabulary to describe woodland objects and plants, though sensory games. All of these sessions used speaking and listening, key literacy skills such as exciting vocabulary which then permeates all areas of learning. They will talk and share ideas about how we can help to look after the planet.
SCIENCE – looking at different habitats and at how animals are grouped into vertebrates and invertebrates and how vertebrates are further grouped into: birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish, consolidating this learning by finding examples of each and learning more about the animals that live in our immediate environment. Investigating different materials and what senses they stimulate. Taking part in bird counts, monitoring and recording wildlife on site and helping to make their habitat sustainable. Looking at plants and trees, how they develop and what they need to live.
MATHS – Children measure lengths of sticks and consolidate 3D shapes when making a bug hotel or habitat and shelters.Counting and ordering of variety of natural objects and those required for cooking or making items. Patterns and irregularity observed in nature from lady bird spots to Fibonacci sequence. Observe and create 2D and 3D shapes. Discover symmetry in nature or use mirrors to create symmetry. Find angles and use for measuring and construction. Explore division, multiplication and fractions when sharing resources and dividing snacks equally. Observe, measure, record and share. Areas (Forest School base), distance (between areas or school). Wildlife eg population density and or distribution via daisy count, bird survey etc or Trees height, age. Cooking experiments eg the perfect pancake. Weather, temperature, light, rainfall. Explore coordinates and bearings, position and direction via map making, treasure hunts, orienteering. Create pictorial representations in situ and take photographs back to schools or analyse data back at schools. Collect data for national surveys. eg natures calendar, bee life or the great bird watch and analyse the national data next to the collected data.
ART and DT – The Forest Schools curriculum gives all children the opportunities to cut wood and shape it safely using a range of tools. They will learn how to use a hand drill, peeler and loppers. They will also learn how to lash pieces of wood together and how and why we tie different knots. Making sculptures for the garden or clay hedgehogs.
PSHE – We will nurture a deeper bond with nature and consider how much joy it brings us, and how we in turn should respect and look after our planet. We are developing a sensory gardens and will consider all children, their needs and how we can create spaces that provide experience for multiple senses. In addition, the infrastructure and design will be improved so that every child can have positive learning experiences. We will seek feedback and make improvements using the ideas the children have.
HISTORY - Looking at Ancient Man, tools he used, what he ate, making simple bread and making shelters.
GEOGRAPHY - Familiarity with local geographical features, land use past and present, weather patterns, day length, habitats, flora and fauna a foundation for contrast with other localities or parts of the globe. Basic human features and geographical vocabulary can be included in visits. Hone fieldwork techniques via mapping on paper and use compasses and aerial photographs for bringing the focus in and out.
PE - Build confidence, resilience, muscle strength, balance, coordination and agility. Take part in team games e.g. predator/prey or wide games and individual games such as 1,2,3, obstacle courses and woodland gym activities Take part in non-competitive physical activity such as walking to and from the site, large scale construction, conservation and woodland management tasks. Discover a connection to nature and tools to promote good physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being. Choreograph and perform nature inspired dance e.g. the snowflakes journey, the storm arrives, animals of the wood.