Our Forest school is led by fully qualified level 3 practitioners who have great experience and enthusiasm for the outdoors and outdoor learning. All children explore the woodland and outdoor area at Sence Valley every day in all weathers. We prepare the children by dressing in waterproofs that we provide and ensure they have layers to keep them warm or hats and sun cream to protect from the sun. We believe there is no such thing as bad weather on bad equipment so ensure we are all fully prepared.
Children learn how to use tools, construct dens, take measured risks, climb, and light fires as the basics to Forest School. This is with all children from the moment they arrive. Our children learn to trust the adults and begin to test themselves and their capabilities eventually lighting and sustaining their own fires, building bridges, tying knots and creating things from wood using saws and peelers.
Forest school enables children to develop the fundamental skills required for a positive attitude to learning. This includes resilience, determination, confidence, independence, and teamwork. By instilling these skills your child is likely to show this attitude towards lifelong learning and sustain concentration and perseverance when difficulty occurs. It is also a key factor in positive mental wellbeing, essentially building happiness in children and adults alike.
Forest school is a sensory and physical way of learning so your children will also get wet, dirty and at times cold. Changes of clothing is essential (see equipment list.) Our forest school sites are close to the Cabin so we can return quickly if needed to warm up or dry off and we will often be seen snuggling in a blanket with a hot chocolate and a story in winter months. Spring weather often brings puddle jumping and cooking with apples from the trees and Summer weather brings pong dipping and new life. Our large outdoor area under the canopy and in the garden offers opportunity to develop the forest school approach all day in our mud kitchens, dens and growing of plants and food in the allotment. We also regularly visit the local area, parks, libraries or trips on our minibus and have adventures that last the whole day.
Children will need to have the following items with them everyday to be fully prepared for adventures. All children’s belongings should be clearly labelled and be in a bag that is big enough to store them easily. Lost items that are not labelled are exceedingly difficult to return.
- Waterproof Coat.
- Fleece or warm layers
- Thermals for winter
- Lots of Spare socks – thermal for winter
- Wellies or waterproof snow boots for winter
- Spare shoes to change into
- Hat – sun hat or wooly hat
- Suncream (in summer)
- Gloves and ‘buff’ (in winter)
- Nappies, creams and wipes
- Spare underwear.