Forest School

Park Way Forest School

What is Forest School?

At Park Way Primary School, we are lucky to have amazing outdoor spaces to enhance the learning of our children. Forest School utilises our generous outdoor space to provide the children with a unique learning experience.

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

All of our children will have an opportunity to partake in Forest School before they leave the school in Year 6. These sessions run for a minimum of one term. Forest School is run in smaller groups than that of formal education. Key Stage 1 children have a ratio of 2 adults to 8 children. Whereas Key Stage 2 children have a ratio of 2 adults to 12 children.

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 in the sessions are there to support the children’s new learning. However, Forest School is child-led with the activities laid out for them at every session. Forest School is run by an adult who has undertaken the Forest School Leadership Level 3 and is supported by another adult from the school. Ensuring the children are safe to take calculated risks and learn new skills that they would not otherwise have opportunity to partake in.

We are lucky to have a Forest School session that comprises of 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, shelters, swings and hang our hammock. Sessions differ depending on wants and needs of the group. Younger years will learn safe fire management and limited tool use, whereas older years will continue to use a wider range of tools and become more independent within the Forest School area. Tool use will always be the Forest School Leader with a maximum of 2 children (1 for younger years).

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. Some examples of our activities include - printing 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.

We always welcome our children's adults to join their child's sessions. Please ask at the office for more information or speak to our Forest School Leader, Mr Bowles.