The Forest School Association describes a Forest School as, "an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees."
Crown Wood is fortunate to have such an environment within its grounds and we employ two specialist forest school leaders to run various activities and programmes for our children throughout the year.
Every child at Crown Wood gets several opportunities to benefit from Forest Learning during their time at the school. Typically they spend one morning or afternoon a week in the forest for between 6-12 weeks (depending on the year group). In addition, the forest is used to support children with social, mental or emotional health difficulties (SMEH). Our staff also run after school and holiday clubs.
During Forest Learning sessions, children are taught safety rules and skills for using equipment (e.g. handsaws, loppers, vegetable peelers and bill hooks) and doing activities (e.g. tree climbing and making a fire). This allows them to take risks and push their boundaries in a responsible and controlled way.
The children learn about - and to respect - the natural world and get the chance to do activities such as whittling greenwood, cooking over fire, den building, mud kitchen, natural arts and crafts, planting / gardening, bug hunting and role play.
There are always opportunities for oracy, writing and applying mathematics skills too.
The forest is used in all weathers except lightening and high winds. There is an indoor classroom available on site when it gets too cold as well as a chemical toilet.
Forest Learning and our specialist staff are available for use by other schools for their pupils, particularly those with SMEH needs. Please contact our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org.