Forest School has been running at Endeavour since 2016. It is a process that offers children opportunities, with regular hands-on learning experiences within a natural environment. These opportunities will help all learners achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem.
Children are given the chance to join in Forest School during all weather and can explore their natural surroundings and lead on their chosen outdoor activities within Forest School; whether that is building dens, making elder jewellery, running, hiding, model making, insect hunting, building bug houses, mark making with embers, whittling and cooking on a camp fire. 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 Leads are Mrs Fisher and Mrs Arnold, Miss Harris is the Forest School Assistant. Mrs Fisher and Mrs Arnold take classes outside across both Key Stages and are normally accompanied by Teaching Assistants and volunteer parents. If you are a parent who would like to get involved with Forest School please contact Mrs Fisher or 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
Suitable Clothing for Forest School.
Forest School runs all year and during all types of weather. During the colder, winter months two or three layers are suggested, such as long sleeved t-shirts and a jumper or hoody, with either leggings or tracksuit bottoms. Jeans are not suitable as if they become wet they take a long time to dry. A couple of pairs of socks and wellies are a good idea, as well as some spare socks to change into back in class in case they get wet feet. The children can wear hats, scarves and gloves but preferably ones that can get muddy. School should have enough waterproofs for all the children to wear. During the warmer, summer months, a thin, long sleeved top and leggings or tracksuit bottoms are suggested. Legs and arms need to be covered to avoid scratches and to ward off Tick bites. Sun hats and caps can be worn, as well as old trainers if the weather is dry.