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!
Pupils from Pre-School, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 take part in weekly Forest School sessions. 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.
Lead by our residential Level 3 qualified instructor, 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 secluded 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.
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.