FOREST SCHOOL AT CSG PRE SCHOOL
Why is forest school so beneficial?
Forest School is all about getting out there and children exploring their outside environment, in their own way.
We have activities which include making dens, exploring and learning about different environments with bug hunting and identification – where can they find bugs and why are they in that area, recognising and identifying different trees from clues of bark, leaf shape, nuts & fruits. Exploring the area, taking ownership of their space and returning each week to their ‘rocket’ under the trees with the bouncy branch, or their ‘motorbike’ a log at the top of a slope which they can sit on with a friends, to see the whole of the Dell area.
‘Small achievable tasks’
The children are free to challenge themselves, getting up a slope using the ropes, showing perseverance by keep having a go, until the sense of achievement when they get to the top. There is risk taking, children are great a managing their own risks.
Activities: What do the children do?
We paint the trees with mud, make a potion in the mud kitchen, and make a den of sticks for a cuddly toy. We use bug kits to find worms, woodlouse and lots of bugs. We often use books to guide a session. The hungry caterpillar, Gruffalo, the 3 little pigs are 3 we have used this half term.
Over the last half term we have also been working towards our Ladybird award, a programme which sets ‘small achievable tasks’ to. As there were lots of new children to forest school Ladybird award included – teaching the forest school rules. Ladybird award also includes balancing and moving around the area, identifying a mini beast, collecting and showing woodland treasures.
Other activities we have been doing this half term are, fire management – using a striker to get a spark to light a fire, using a Kelly kettle to boil water to make hot chocolate, and playing leaf snap!
We will be continuing with the award scheme, these awards are to help children to develop forest school skills and show recognition of these achievements, with a colourful certificate. There are different awards, which take into account, the differing levels of experience, children can work their way through them at their own pace.
The whole experience
Forest school is a holistic experience – the sounds of trees, the red kites above, smells of the fire & popcorn cooking, feeling the uneven ground under foot or the mud on your hands from scrambling up banks or from mud kitchen.
For children’s physical development, what’s better than a natural playground with climbing to strengthen muscles, balancing for core strength, carrying, commando crawling under rope nets, fine motor skills picking up bugs carefully – to name just a few.
So when you see a photo of your child from forest school, looking at a worm or at the top of a slope, I hope you will appreciate the amazing learning which has gone on, before we capture that moment of magic in a photo.