Forest School

Monday 19 August 2019

Forest School ethos at Ark Dickens Academy

In an increasingly risk averse and urbanised society where children have often lost their connection with nature, Forest School aims to provide an experiential education that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. Engaging, fun and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year will be provided in almost all weathers (the Ark Dickens pupil has grit and resilience towards the inclement climate!).

Children will work with tools, play, learn and begin to understand the boundaries of behaviour, both physical and social within the Forest School setting. They will grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world but, most importantly, of themselves.

A Forest School encourages children to:

  • Develop personal and social skills
  • Work through practical problems and challenges
  • Use tools to create, build or manage
  • Discover how they learn best
  • Pursue knowledge that interests them
  • Learn how to manage failures
  • Build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk
  • Develop practical skills
  • Understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle
  • Explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth
  • Regularly experience achievement and success
  • Reflect on learning and experiences
  • Develop their language and communication skills
  • Improve physical motor skills
  • Become more motivated
  • Improve their concentration skills
  • Improve their communication
  • Explore the world through all the senses available to them

What happens at Forest School?

Led by our own onsite qualified practitioner small groups of children will participate in a programme of weekly sessions which last for at least an hour. The sessions will involve practical activities which aim to build up participants’ skills, abilities and confidence over time through the seasons.

Benefits of Forest School

Forest School aims to develop the individual pupil as a whole. It focuses on the development of self-esteem. Research shows that those who participate exhibit improved learning attitudes in the classroom. Forest School can also:

  • Develop physical abilities and help participants to stay active and healthy
  • Heighten self-awareness and improve emotional and social skills
  • Promote co-operative and group working
  • Encourage participants to take care of themselves and others
  • Foster care, appreciation and respect for wildlife and wild places
  • Broaden knowledge and understanding of the natural world

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