At Springfield we are lucky to have a piece of woodland in the school grounds and, since 2012, we have been using the outdoor area for Forest School.
Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Forest School Association
At Springfield, we know how lucky we are to have a large and varied outdoor learning space. As our children learn and grow, we take opportunities to use our surroundings for rich learning experiences – our children learn about seasons, plants, habitats, light and so much more outside, where it is real and tangible. Where our children are immersed in experiences that take them outside their classroom we aim to ignite their curiosity and encourage their imagination.
As part of our curriculum in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, our children attend weekly Forest School sessions. Forest School is a type of outdoor education in which our children learn personal, social and technical skills through weekly visits to our forest. In Forest School children learn about being outdoors in all weather conditions, they learn how to make shelters and how to climb trees. They also learn how to use their imaginations, to explore and ask questions and to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings. These sessions develop confidence and self-esteem
Forest School uses the woods as a means to build independence, teamwork, problem solving skills and self-esteem. The Forest School curriculum compliments the topics in the classroom and the woodland environment is used to support all areas of learning including mathematics and literacy.
The following set of principles, set by the Forest School Association (FSA), underpin our Forest School ethos:
- Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
- Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.