Curriculum Statement: Forest School
‘Excellence, Truth and Grace’
‘Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.’
Philippians 4: 8-9
Forest School is a unique method of outdoor learning. At Middleton Parish Church School our aim is to encourage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences. Children will have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and cooperate with others. The children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self-motivated. Children will become:
- Ready to Learn
Middleton Parish Church School's Children will be:
- Ready to Learn: Our school has its own, well established, Forest School Area. This helps children feel a sense of belonging. Each session follows a similar routine, establishing group cohesiveness and safety. There is a clear beginning and ending. The boundaries of the play area and rules for safety and care for each other and the environment are established as a whole group. Forest school builds happy memories for all.
- Respectful: Children utilise the group to see how the woodland changes, they develop and understanding of seasonal change. Each season provides moments of discovery that have a positive, lasting effect on children's sense of the outdoors. Children develop a love of nature leading to care and respect for green spaces in the future.
- Reflective: Knowledge and skills learnt are built upon each year through a curriculum which progresses and revisits to build on and embed understanding. Teachers ensure links to the wider curriculum are made during Forest School units. Plans are developed to enhance pupils knowledge and skills development across the curriculum, which build to support their understanding and development of skills in context.
- Aspirational: Children become motivated by the wonder of our world through their adventures in the outdoors. Encouraging children to develop a relationship with the natural world will help them to have a desire to protect the environment for generations to come.
Here are some of the practical activities that we do at Middleton Parish Church School Forest School:
- Opportunities for knot tying
- Making dens
- Climbing trees
- Using tools to make things such as bows, boats, musical instruments, wands
- Demonstrating building a small fire including, what a fire needs and fire safety
- Identifying trees