We aim to engage the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of our students through an adventurous, and innovative, approach to learning that starts in our Early Years, and continues through the school to Sixth Form. This journey begins with Forest School, a programme designed to develop articulate and confident children who are well prepared for their further education.

 

By linking children to the world around them using a range of exciting outdoor activities, Forest School reinforces what they learn in the classroom. Our teachers and qualified Forest School Leaders take on a facilitator role, giving pupils the freedom to lead their own activities. This enables them to develop their imagination, perseverance, communication, decision-making skills and self-confidence.

 

TYPICAL CURRICULUM-LINKED ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

Physical development – walking/running, digging, climbing trees, hanging from branches, threading leaf kebabs, carrying equipment

Maths – counting leaves/bugs, measuring twigs longer than your arm/shorter than your finger, weighing heavier/lighter than the stone, finding shapes

Literacy – listening skills “123 where are you?”, lovely descriptive language “The mud is sticky, squelchy”

Knowledge and understanding of the world – mixing materials, mud soup, petal perfume, caring for the natural environment, watching for changes

Creativity, using their own imagination and creating their own resources – stick spoon, driftwood boat, wooden log see-saw, rope swing, natural pictures

Personal, social and emotional development – adhere to rules and boundaries, help one another, have a go

WHERE IS FOREST SCHOOL?

The Forest School site is located within the nearly 20 acres of Lake District landscape that make up Windermere School’s Elleray Estate.

There are small trees and bushes to climb, magical places to hide, spaces for den building, secret passageways through shrubbery and a log circle for telling stories, singing songs and eating toasted marshmallows! There is also a beautiful design natural wood shelter which allows us to use the facilities throughout the year. 

WHEN DOES FOREST SCHOOL TAKE PLACE?

Pupils in Pre-School, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 take part in two 90 minute Forest School sessions each week. The focus is on woodland activities which start to nurture those ‘hard to measure’ life skills that we believe are so important in children’s education; self-awareness, independence, motivation, confidence, empathy and determination.

We embrace the Forest School philosophy, which is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences.

WHAT WILL THEY LEARN?

Instructed by our residential Forest School Leader, students learn about topics such as how to identify local species of plant and wildlife, how to care for and conserve our environment, how to build a den, use tools, dam building, storytelling and role play.

The Forest School site offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and personal development. Natural resources are available for mark-making, mud and water play, as well as craft and construction activities. The site includes sheltered areas to play quietly as well as large open spaces for collaborative play and learning.

The students are encouraged to set a series of self-motivated and achievable goals, helping to foster a sense of responsibility and pride in their achievements.