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In a new approach to learning, Beechwood Park School has recently established a Forest School within a dedicated area of woodland in its grounds.

Forest School is an approach to learning where everyone can succeed. The Forest School concept originated in Scandinavia and was introduced into the UK in the 1990s. It is an approach to learning which allows all children to succeed by participating in activities and games designed to build self-esteem, communication skills, independence and self-confidence through an appreciation of the natural environment and giving them the freedom to explore using all their senses.

All children in the Nursery and Junior Department will have access to Forest School and sessions will take place in all weather conditions unless it is deemed to be unsafe e.g. high winds.

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What are the Benefits of Forest School?

Children love to be outside. In the Forest School sessions they will be active, experiencing life outside the classroom, boosting their independence and self-confidence. They will have the freedom to explore using multiple senses. Creative and imaginative play is encouraged. Physical activity is a large part of Forest School; balance, coordination and general fitness will be enhanced through these sessions. Children will be encouraged to learn to take managed risks in a safe environment. Learning to discuss any feeling of frustration with tackling new tasks helps to build coping strategies. Children learn about the diversity and identification of species and to respect the environment.

How does Forest School Enrich the Curriculum?

Sessions usually combine several elements including a game which might have an environmental or co-operational learning point. The main activity supports objectives from across the curriculum in a practical and fun way. There will be lots of opportunities for speaking, listening and team work. Children will have a chance to reflect on the session at the end. Maths, Science, Art, Literacy, Music, DT and Geography are subjects which particularly lend themselves to learning in an outdoor setting.