Forest School

Forest School is taught onsite by our specialist Forest Leaders, Miss Caroline Beale and Mrs Angela Mills. Children age 3 and above who attend Little Crofters and Little Crofters Pre-school, can be opted into our Forest sessions. Reception children participate in Forest School sessions as part of their timetable.

 

The Croft Forest School

  • The Setting: engaging in and learning from the ‘unusual’ outside environment. Outside areas (not necessary woodland but use of grounds that are rarely accessed and used only for Forest School sessions) and where Forest School rules apply.

“Outdoors is different to indoors and this is exactly why it matters to children.”

  • Facilitating children’s risk taking: learning and respecting the environment, being able to move around comfortably while keeping safe. Forest Leaders risk-assess areas and activities seasonally and prior to Forest School sessions.
  • Time: Forest School is a sustained or regular experience - for Early Years once a week. Longer sessions provide deeper and more meaningful learning/play experiences; positive ways of behaving, communicating and interacting are reinforced by enjoyable repetition.
  • Accessing Forest School throughout the year: Forest School sessions continue through all weathers:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”

  Rain and colder climates allow children to experience and learn from different weather conditions and how to keep themselves warm/dry.

   For safety, windy weather contingency plans allow alternative activates to be planned away from nearby trees.

  • Trust: trust is central…adults and children trust each other to follow the rules. Adults spend time to get to know and understand children in their setting. Children should feel safe with the adults if the Forest School experience is to be a positive one. Adults should also feel assured that children will respond in predictable ways.
  • Learning is play based and, as far as possible, child initiated and child led: Allowing time and space for children to make their own choices and express themselves in open ended creativity.

“Open ended play promotes cooperative play, with its higher cognitive challenge for interacting peers.”

  • Routine and repetition: Forest School sessions begin and end with clear recognisable routines for children. This marks the difference between school activities and Forest School activities. Repetition of beginnings and ends also empowers children and signals that ‘something special is about to happen or has just happened.’ Familiar terminology such as ‘find a way to finish off’ allows children time to acknowledge and come to terms with the end of a session. 
  • Trained staff: Forest School is delivered by trained level 3 staff enabling best possible outcomes of sessions for children and ensuring correct ratios for age of children in the setting.

“Our task is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more.”

 

 

The Croft Preparatory School
Alveston Hill
Loxley Road

Stratford-upon-Avon
Warwickshire
CV37 7RL

© 2015 - 2017 Croft Preparatory School. v17.0317