Forest schools are a type of outdoor education in which children visit forests/woodlands, learning personal, social and technical skills. Forest schools offer children opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment. Woods and forests provide a means to build independence and self-esteem in school-age children. Topics are cross-curriculum including the natural environment, for example the role of trees in society, the complex ecosystem supported by a wilderness, and recognition of specific plants and animals. However, the personal skills are considered highly valuable, such as teamwork and problem solving. The woodland environment may also be used to learn about more abstract concepts such as mathematics and communication.
Forest Schools have been integral part of learning at Meridian Primary School for the past few years and several other Network cb23 schools are interested in providing Forest Schools sessions to their pupils. Last autumn, a teacher at Meridian led a series of Forest Schools Masterclass sessions for year 1 and year 2 pupils from ten of Network cb23 primary schools. He was assisted by staff from three other Network cb23 schools. This was an opportunity not just for the pupils but also for staff from Network cb23 schools to learn more about leading a Forest School class. We hope to expand the opportunities for learning through Forest Schools throughout the Network cb23 schools.