What is Forest School?
“Forest School is an inspirational learning process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment.” (www.forestschoolassociation.org)
Miss Cushion is currently completing her Level 3 Forest School Leader qualification with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, which enables her to deliver Forest School sessions in school.
Forest School activities can include a variety of outdoor crafts, games, building dens from natural materials, using a variety of tools to make items from wood and using fire to cook food or heat water for drinks.
We held a competition to design our Forest School logo – here is the winner:
What have we been up to in our Forest School sessions at Ash Green?
Since November, a group of KS2 children have been attending weekly sessions with Miss Cushion and Mr Hodgkinson.
The children have been learning about the natural environment in the school grounds; identifying trees and mini beasts; using team building skills to make a bug hotel; using clay to create woodland animals as well as, creating some amazing artwork using natural materials!
We have also discovered some interesting things while we’ve been out exploring our Environmental Area…we have found a common frog, numerous snail eggs, collard earth star fungi and many mini beasts!
Over the coming weeks, the children will be learning how to look after the natural environment and increase its biodiversity. Hopefully, over the next few months we’ll have an Environmental Area that’s buzzing with wildlife and blooming with lots of flowers!
Since Christmas the children in Forest School have enjoyed making hedgehog homes and using a flint and steel to make sparks and light a campfire safely.
The group of children also welcomed some of their parents to join them for their last session. They had a delightful afternoon around the campfire cooking popcorn (which accidentally got burnt!), drinking hot chocolate and eating chocolate biscuits! It also gave the children the opportunity to show their parents what they had been up to while attending Forest School. Each child was given a certificate to celebrate their achievements at Forest School.
Miss Cushion and Mr Hodgkinson are now enjoying delivering Forest School sessions to a new group of children. So far the children have constructed a deadwood pile for mini beasts, built shelters, created willow hearts, designed clay faces on our oak trees, whittled a nature wand and jumped in muddy puddles! They have also been spotting signs of spring every week, they have discovered snowdrops, crocus and daffodils growing on the school field. Over the next few weeks we are hoping to find some frog spawn in our pond!