At Bookwell we have adopted the following
Forest School Principles:
In order to keep the forest school site thriving ecologically we have devised a school calendar so each class visits the woodland area annually for a Forest School session based over half a term. These sessions are planned at different points during the school year so they can observe and experience the seasonal changes whilst reducing the ecological impact on the on the woodland site
The children at Bookwell are responsible for their forest and have helped develop our Forest classroom by planting, maintaining and creating things. Activities that are planned also help children connect with the woodland physically, emotionally and mentally therefore fostering a huge respect.
Sessions are designed to meet the needs of the children attending. By offering a variety of activities we aim to develop the physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the learner.
During sessions children are encouraged to take part in a variety of activities which may push them out of their comfort zone but by building trust with each other and the environment we aim to develop the confidence to encourage appropriate risk taking. Forest School sessions encourage the learners to identify the risks when doing an activity and consider the benefits they will have from taking that risk and to calculate if it will be worth the risk.
We are fortunate at Bookwell to be introduced to Forest Schools by Sarah Lenahan of Bright Sparks Forest School and then train two of our staff Mrs Fawcett and Mrs Scaplehorn to level 3.
Different children will get different things from the Forest School sessions, what is very clear though, is that there is no doubt that all children do benefit from taking part.