Forest School

What happens at Forest School?

Children at Annan take part in weekly Forest School activities with experienced and trained Forest School teachers.  We have access to an ancient woodland adjacent to the school and our commitment to regular visits to the same woodland site over a period of time is crucial to children’s understanding of the seasons and how woodland changes.

In the woodland there are constant opportunities for discovery, for physical challenges and for dramatic play, to find hidden places and secret dens.  There are opportunities for art or craft, environmental games or learning through storytelling.

Through teaching children small achievable and progressively more challenging tasks children can achieve something that would have seemed impossible. Young children are taught to use small hand tools in a safe environment; such as being shown how to use peelers to peel sticks to use as toasting forks, and given the opportunity to cook their own dampers on the fire.

As they get older they may learn how to use the bow saw, how to do lashings and light fires using flint.  Opportunities for taking appropriate risks are linked to a growth in confidence and enhancement of self-esteem and independence.

Children learn to respect their environment and only take what is necessary; they learn to be caretakers of the Earth. They develop and nurture respect and responsibility for themselves, other people and the environment in a truly empowering experience, which is also exciting, healthy and fun!

Which classes go to Forest School?

All classes spend half a day a week in the forest.  Kindergarten children start off in “half acre” our own wildlife area onsite.  They then venture further afield as they get more confident.  All other classes use the adjacent forest for their sessions of forest school.  They keep a beautiful diary of their time in the woods.  These are available in the classrooms for parents to read.

Who runs the forest school sessions?

We have an experienced Forest School teacher who comes into school to run forest school sessions.  The class teachers also go with the children to Forest School so that the learning can be fully embedded in the curriculum.

What clothing do children need?

There is no such thing as the wrong weather to go outside just the wrong clothing!

Children need warm clothing, wellies with welly socks and hats, gloves and waterproofs depending on the weather conditions.

Do they go out in all weathers?

We go out whatever the weather except in strong winds or storms.

Where do children go for Forest School?

Children walk from school into the adjacent woodland.  There are large expanses of woodland to explore and revisiting the same woodland all year round gives children a chance to experience changing seasons at first hand.

What do children learn at Forest School?

Besides learning about nature and the world around them, Forest School gives opportunity for the children to ‘discover themselves’, what they are capable of, to take risks and to trust in their own capabilities; to work independently and as part of team. It provides an environment where children can develop their self-confidence and self-esteem, and to appreciate their strengths. It enables the children to work together to develop their sense of ‘community’ and an understanding and tolerance of others with different opinions and points of view.

What do children say about Forest School?

At Forest School I love exploring and discovering

I love playing in the stream because I get wet and muddy

I love the nature that’s why I love it!

I love making fires, clay animals, everything!