Hello and welcome to the Ash Green Forest School page!
On this page you will find information about what Forest School is and regular updates from our Forest School sessions.
I have recently completed my Level 3 Forest School Leader qualification with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, which enables me to deliver weekly Forest School sessions in school. I believe that all children should have the opportunity to connect with the natural world around them. Being outside in a natural environment provides numerous learning and exploration opportunities, as well as having positive impacts upon our mental and physical health.
I hope you enjoy browsing this page and if you would like any further information about Forest School please contact me via the school office or email, thanks Miss Cushion. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
The Forest School ethos is based on six key principles, these can be found on the Forest School Association website along with the criteria for good practice.
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. For more in depth information on Forest School at Ash Green, please see the following document.
To launch Forest School here at Ash Green, Miss Cushion held a competition to design a Forest School logo. Daisy Warburton was the winner! This is her design which has been transformed in a digital image.
What have we been up to in our Forest School sessions at Ash Green?
Forest School sessions resumed when we returned after the Christmas break. They are currently taking place on a Friday for a select number of children in EYFS, KS1 and KS2.
During this time, the children have been busy exploring our outdoor Environmental Area and learning how to protect and improve it. So far, the children have participated in a number of activities such as shelter building, creating deadwood piles for mini beasts, making a bug hotel, spotting signs of spring, making clay faces on the trees and finding frog spawn in the pond.
Over the coming weeks, we are hoping to develop our fire making skills so the children can safely start a fire and toast some marshmallows!
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!
Thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Forest School, he enjoyed all of it!
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!
The campfire and throwing leaves were the best bits!
Here at Ash Green we are fortunate enough to have gorgeous grounds with mature trees and a variety of wildlife.
Since becoming a Forest School Leader Miss Cushion has taken on the task of transforming the schools Environmental Area to enhance its biodiversity. Wildlife is currently under threat due to climate change so it’s important we all play apart in protecting it for generations to come.
The Environmental Area had become overgrown and a little neglected so, in July 2019 Miss Cushion and her partner set themselves the challenge of bringing it back to life! There is still plenty of work to be done but it is slowly becoming an area that will be blooming with flowers and buzzing with wildlife.
The area currently boasts a wildlife pond, a fire pit with log seating, mature maple trees, frogs, field mice, squirrels, a fox, and a variety of birds. Miss Cushion is in the process of creating a wildflower den along with extensive planting of different themes such as woodland, cottage garden and herbs. There are also plans for a Fairy Woodland, mud kitchen, sensory garden, work stations and chill out areas!