Forest School has been introduced at Headstart School as an exciting and innovative outdoor centred learning experience to engage young students in the natural environment. Children attending Forest Schools will develop a range of skills such as strong social skills, the ability to work in groups effectively, and generally fostering high esteem and confidence in their own capabilities.
These attributes are essential as a foundation to raise academic achievement. The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive experiences and participation in engaging and motivating achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment, helping to develop personal, social and emotional skills:
Forest School runs all year round and takes a key advantage in the changing seasons to ensure an ever changing classroom. Each Forest School site is unique and many are run or managed by trusts or the forestry commission themselves.
Following introductory sessions in the woodland exploring the site and establishing physical and behavioural boundaries, safety and hygiene routines, small and large scale projects are developed through a child led approach. Opportunities are made for these projects to be taken back to the indoor setting for continuation and extension.
Each time the children leave the woodland they may take something with them to encourage interest and communicative interaction. Individual’s progress is observed and monitored through a thorough evaluation process to ensure that aims and objectives are being met.