Forest School

The Forest School approach to learning focuses on an ethos that maximises the emotional, social and developmental benefits of education. It believes children need to have more opportunities to:

  • experience free play
  • be more active
  • take risks
  • become independent learners
  • work as a team
  • make their own choices
  • foster a love for the environment
  • think outside the box

At Park Way School, Forest School is run for small groups of children with a higher than average adult ratio. This allows our pupils to experience a wide range of more adventurous activities in a safe environment and for adults to safely demonstrate new skills. The adults are primarily observers but will provide support as appropriate to the individual child. At present the site comprises a small woodland area with clearings for a fire pit and a safe tool working and craft area. Several trees are used for climbing or for constructing dens and shelters. Sessions differ depending on the age of the child and their needs, with younger children enjoying the freedom of imaginative play whilst the older pupils use tools for construction. Children are free to choose their own activities and to develop their projects as they wish.

Children are shown how to:

  • use a range of tools safely to make simple objects of their choice using their imagination,
  • light a fire either in a our fire pit to cook a simple snack or in a kelly kettle to boil water for hot chocolate.

Craft activities are mainly seasonal related allowing children to use the natural objects found in the woods. Children have printed using flowers and leaves, used conkers to make objects and clay for tree masks.

At the end of each session children reflect on what they have achieved, how they feel and plan for the following week. All activities are child iniaited.