At Orchard Fields Community School we aim to foster a love and respect of nature and the environment, developing long term environmentally sustainable attitudes and practises. Forest school is a place where children develop holistically through regular experiences in a woodland environment or natural environment with trees. Through careful observation teachers nurture and scaffold children’s learning and development and lead by example. During forest school sessions, children are encouraged to assess and take risks in a safe, supportive way. Moving away from the normal constraints of the classroom walls, pressure-free, practical activities we hope to develop independent creative learners, gaining valuable life skills and knowledge through well-planned, interesting and diverse sessions.
The Forest School Principles and how they link to our setting:
1. Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions and aims for children to visit in blocks of six to eight weeks each season. Planning, adaptation, observations, and reviewing are all integral parts of the Forest School process.
2. It takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment – we will mostly be using our new, developing school site, located on the main playing field. On occasions the children might visit a nearby woodland.
3. We aim to promote the holistic development in all of those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent, and creative learners.
4. We will offer learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves.
5. It will be managed by a qualified Forest School Leader.
6. We will use a range of learner centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
The Forest School Principles and other information can be located at: http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/full-principles-and-criteria-for-good- practice/