What are Forest Schools?
A 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 schools sets learning in a different context for children where they can undertake a range of practical activities and carry out small achievable tasks. We aim to provide a fun packed day, in an exciting environment.
What happens during a session?
During each 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 the 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 our forest school sessions take place.
The forest school runs all year round and we go out in all weather conditions (unless weather conditions are dangerous). Nursery and Reception have 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.
The Tree House
We are very delighted to have completed this fantastic tree house in our forest school area.
Thank you to our parents and volunteers for all your hard work in helping to construct the tree house which 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-enacting their favourite stories and pretending to be different characters.
The Mud Kitchen
The mud kitchen provides opportunities to develop physical skills. An 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 this great fun! A big thank you to all of our parents who kindly volunteered to build our mud kitchen.