Our Forest School is designed to enhance and complement our day to day curriculum in both the Early Years Foundation Stage Key Stage One and Key Stage 2. It offers all our children opportunities to develop confidence, self-esteem and to experience achievement. Our beautiful woodland area in school facilitates regular sessions to pupils at Taddington and beyond.
Benefits of Outdoor Learning Forest School is a long term, repetitive learning process that uses a natural outdoor space. It is a specific ethos of learning that focuses on processes rather than products and allows learners time and space to develop at their own rate. Learners develop a strong sense of space through repeated contact with the natural world throughout the year. Forest School empowers children and young people to take responsibility for their own learning and development. The ethos encourages child-led learning and learning through play. Choice increases enjoyment, participation and motivation. Children are set up to achieve and supported to take appropriate risks through developing trust in themselves and in others.
Forest School promotes holistic, individualised learning and development. It is for all ages and abilities and its ethos is fully inclusive. The natural environment provides stimulus for all senses, all areas of development and all learning styles; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Forest School encourages emotional growth, self-esteem, confidence and independence. It gives learners the time and space to be themselves, find peace and communicate with others in a safe and caring environment. Emotional literacy is actively practised by adults and children within a Forest School.
Forest School instils a deep respect and awareness for the natural world and reconnects participants to their environment. The repetitive ethos builds a deep, instinctual connection to the natural space. Being in nature allows learners to observe real life, witness cause and effect and consider our roles and responsibilities towards it. Activities at Forest School Forest School has no set of prescribed activities.
Nearly any type of outdoor learning activity could be undertaken as part of a Forest School process. It is the ethos in how the activities are delivered that make it part of Forest School.
Within a Forest School:
• Learners have a choice in what activities they undertake.
• Practitioners observe learners carefully in order to plan for next steps.
• Practitioners introduce relevant skills, knowledge and resources based on what the learners are interested in and need to develop.
• Practitioners set up learners to achieve by breaking tasks into small achievable chunks.
• Practitioners focus on process rather than product.
• Tasks are open – no right or wrong way of doing things (exceptions to this are health and safety procedures).
We have developed our own bespoke spiral curriculum which is run by our own qualified staff and alongside Whitehall, a leading Derbyshire Outdoor Education provider.
The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our children, with each outdoor session building on previous learning and experiences. We believe this helps to develop a growth mind-set in our children’s attitudes – “I can do it!” and “Let’s try again!” We believe this significantly enhances all the learning opportunities we have to offer.
Collaboration – as we progress through our outdoor curriculum, we aim to shift the children’s mind-set from ‘me’ to ‘we’ to enable collaboration and team-work, which in turn promotes a caring, thoughtful and sharing school.
Risk – all our outdoor and adventurous experiences are carefully risk assessed. However, we understand that managing risk is a vital part of life so we encourage our children to push themselves and take calculated chances.
Resilience – while some children are naturally resilient, others need to develop it. Children need to learn how to ‘bounce back’ from failure with a positive attitude, to ‘re-frame’ the problem or challenge and approach it again with vigor and determination. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t learning
Alongside the more traditional sport and PE such as football, tennis, badminton, hockey, basketball, gymnastics, dance, etc. We are also proud to be able to offer the children at Taddington fencing, archery and canoeing as well as martial arts