Woodland Schools

Woodland School is not just an excuse for us all to have fun outdoors (although we do!!).Based on Forest Schoos whichl is a movement which originated in Scandinavia and was brought to England by Bridgwater College in the 1990's. It uses the outside environment (a "forest" isn't actually a requirement!) to secure vital elements which allow children to learn and grow as individuals. These elements are positive self-esteem, increased sense of motivation, a sense of purpose and an understanding and affinity with surroundings. There is much documentary evidence to show how regular experience of Forest School can have dramatic and profound influences on child development, reaching much further than the edge of the forest - statistics show that children of all abilities make better progress when Forest School experiences are brought back into the conventional classroom.

An integral part of the Woodland School experience is that children will experience the outdoors in all weathers. With the exception of very high winds and thunderstorms, the children will be outside when they take part in forest schools, even if it is for a shortened session.  To help achieve this, we will provide all children taking part in Woodland School with a waterproof coat and waterproof trousers. Parents are asked to provide children with a change of warm clothes that they don't mind if the children get muddy.

Woodland School will teach the children about caring for, managing and understanding the woodland environment. To do this, children will have opportunities to use hand tools such as bow saws, pen knives and bill hooks as well as learning about different fires and their uses. Please be reassured that Forest Schools and Woodland Schools nationally have an excellent safety record thanks to the robust procedures we are required to have in place before we can offer sessions, with every Forest School session only being run by a qualified  Leader.

These sessions can only be run with better than usual adult-child ratios. We are required to maintain a ratio of 1:8 but initially use a ratio of 1:4 and 1:1 at all times when using tools.  A risk assessment and policy file is available on request from the Woodland School leader. Ultimately we hope that by raising children's independence and self-esteem, they should be able to use Woodland School to enhance their learning in other areas of the curriculum whilst developing a love and understanding of the natural environment.

Autumn 2012 Pictures



2011 - 12 Photos