North Beckton Primary School has begun the provision of Forest School sessions from 2012 in Foundation Stage to support children’s learning. Children in Nursery and Reception have been experiencing Forest Schools activities all year. Over the next few years we plan to embed the Forest School philosophy into school-life for all children.
What is Forest Schools?
Forest school is an excellent way to offer outdoor learning opportunities for children on a regular basis. It is a form of outdoor learning, fun and unhurried. Children are learning in a pleasant, natural, fun environment with a wealth of opportunities to suit all learning styles. Forest school sets learning in a different context for children where they can undertake a range of practical activities and carry out small achievable task. We aim to provide a fun packed day, in an exciting environment.
What happens during a session?
During session we spend some time reflecting on any changes to the environment. Work will support the main curriculum (particularly in literacy, science, maths and the arts) and will have a strong emphasis on raising a child's self-esteem and independence. We do an activity together/ learn a new skill and have lots of time to explore independently. The children make their own choices during this time, but it might include: creating a picture on the floor using natural materials, bug hunting, making houses for insects, natural artwork, whittling, mud painting, making a collection, making a nest, retelling and acting out stories, counting tree trunks and much more. We then gather together and share some of our work. There will be tools on offer but they will always be used under adult supervision.
'I like Forest school because I can hide inside the bushes, play and learn in the fresh air' - said Kaylan.
'I like to look for mini beasts' - said Kai.
'I like to collect twigs, leaves, sticks and make things' - said Isa.
'The best thing is when we sit under the trees and listen to the story our teacher reads' - said Tazyeen.
'My favourite part is when we have snack time. When we all sit in the circle and you can chat to each other' - said Noor.
Where and When?
At North Beckton we are very lucky to have a large field surrounded by trees which is where most of our forest school sessions take place.
Our Forest School run all year round and we go out in all weather conditions (unless weather conditions are dangerous). Nursery and Reception has one session every week.
What will my child need to bring?
Children will need to bring a pair of Wellington boots with their name labelled clearly and a waterproof jacket. We provide all children with waterproof trousers. Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the different weather conditions.
Tree house in Forest Schools
We are very delighted to have completed this fantastic tree house in our Forest Schools area.
Thank you to our parent’s volunteers for all your hard work in helping to construct the tree house. The tree house is a fantastic resource for traditional storytelling, watching birds, and observing the weather and season changes. The children can also engage in role play by having a tea party, re-enact their favorite stories and pretend to be different characters.
Mud kitchen in Forest Schools
Mud kitchen provides opportunities to develop Physical skills. Extensive range of actions are involved from pouring, blending, smoothing, scooping, sieving, picking, chopping as they learn to manipulate different tools in the mud. Children are involved in a range of sensory experiences as they explore the properties of the mud. Is it dry, wet, clumpy, rough, smooth? Does the mud blend or mix with other substances. How does the mud change over the seasons? It’s a great place to develop maths skills by weighing, measuring, adding, comparing, fitting together, counting, sorting, classifying. But most importantly of all, great fun! We started ours in Autumn 2015. As you can see from the pictures the children have had a lot of fun playing and learning about the different things they can do with mud!
A big thank you to our parents who kindly volunteered to build up our Mud kitchen in Forest Schools.
Click below to enlarge images: