Forest School was trialled at Endeavour Primary School during June and July 2016 with Year 3 children. It has proved to be a success and continues to enhance the children’s school experiences and compliment learning. We are committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to experience Forest School over the course of the next few years and have devised a two-tiered approach to delivering it to all year groups.
Children are given the chance to go into Forest School in the morning come rain or shine, and are allowed to explore their natural surroundings and lead on their chosen outdoor activities within Forest School; whether that is building dens, making elder jewellery, running, hiding, rolling, model making, insect hunting, building bug houses, mark making with embers, whittling, excavating, cooking on a camp fire and building dens. It all helps to encourage learning, play, and grow a sense of admiration, respect and passion for the outdoor environment and nature.
Endeavour's Forest School Lead is Mrs Arnold, Miss Harris is the Forest School Assistant. Mrs Arnold and Miss Harris are accompanied by the class Teacher, Teaching Assistant and volunteer parents. If you are a parent who would like to get involved with Forest School please contact Mrs Arnold via the School Office.
What we know about Forest School is that there are many benefits for the children, these include:
Physical health benefits:
Increased gross motor movement. Increased oxygen levels improve brain function. Sunlight increases vitamin D production which leads to increased resilience to illness.
Communication, teambuilding and language skills are developed.
Reduction in levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the brain. Being outside offers time to relax and have fun.
Playing outside allows a child to learn about risk assessment and risk taking. Children that are exposed to acceptable levels of risk at a young age are less likely to make bad judgements in the future.
Forest School also offers a range of other Value Added Benefits, such as:
- Rich supply of resources and materials for use in other curriculum areas
- Opportunities to involve parents and wider community
- Chance for staff to observe students in a different setting
- Opportunities for staff to learn new skills, and enjoy the benefits of Forest School too!
- Offers an alternative to our over reliance on digital and electronic sources for recreation, learning, socialising
- Offers an opportunity to become fitter and healthier
- Children and adults learn to recognise and assess risks for themselves
“Forest School gets the kids outdoors whatever the weather, learning about nature, the school and teaches them responsibilities.” Forest School Parent Helper
“I get to go outside, do good activities, it is the best lesson.” Pupil, Year 3
“Forest School makes learning fun.” Endeavour School Staff Member
“Forest School helps children to develop confidence, self-esteem through outdoor, hands on, learning experiences and play. Children are given time and space to explore and use their imaginations. Research has shown us that spending time in green spaces reduces levels of Cortisol (a stress chemical) in the brain and therefore has a calming influence and improves learning and behaviour.” Former Forest School Leader