The children in the Early Years Foundation Stage currently experience Forest Schools. We follow two clear programmes of study.
In Early Years the children use our purpose built sensory garden on the school grounds for their sessions throughout certain times of the year. They dress up in their wellies and a special waterproof suit that the school provides. Come rain or shine they head off to the woods (unless high winds mean it is unsafe) and engage in a wide range of activities. The sessions are all carefully structured but the emphasis is most definitely on exploring and understanding the outside environment.
The children absolutely love this aspect of their time in school and, most importantly, don't even realise that they are learning.
Our principal aims are to:
- ensure EYFS children have the opportunity to learn and play in a natural environment.
- encourage EYFS children to design and modify their own outdoor creative curriculum.
- ensure the children enjoy a rich and rounded curriculum that helps develop their creativity and independence.
- encourage the children to independently manage their own risk assessments.
- develop team building and collaboration skills.
- develop problem solving skills in a practical situation.
- encourage a degree of self-confidence (always mindful of safety) in the use of outdoor tools.
- enable children to work to a common goal and focus on a specific role within a group to achieve that goal.