At Wesley we recognise the importance of Forest School and the role it plays in all of our children’s education. It supports our vision of ‘Shine Like Stars’ through an inspirational process that encourages and promotes the holistic development of all of our children. Our Forest School ethos inspires creativity and opens up opportunities for all children to foster a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. The children are given the opportunity to investigate, explore and take risks in this safe environment at their own pace and interest through a well-planned and engaging child centred approach, which is nurtured and facilitated by our qualified Forest School lead practitioner. Children are given time to be reflective within their learning and how they manage to self-regulate themselves socially or during activities, which is a vital skill for all of our children.
Here are 10 benefits of Forest School:
Forest School helps children to grow in confidence as a result of the freedom, time and space they are given in their learning. This allows them to demonstrate independence at each individual child’s rate.
- Social skills
Activities such as sharing tools and participating in play help teach the children to work together as a group, which strengthens their bonds and social ties.
The sensory experiences provided by Forest School’s helps prompt language development. Improving communication skills has a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem and is a crucial part of their development.
- Motivation and concentration
High levels of interest lead to high levels of attention. Spending time in the woodland is exciting for a child. It tends to fascinate them which develops a strong will to participate and concentrate over long periods of time.
- Physical skills
The increase in outdoor activity is bound to have a positive physical impact. Not only does the development of physical stamina improve but also gross and fine motor skills.
- Knowledge and understanding
Children develop an interest in the great outdoors and respect for the environment. Encouraging children to develop a relationship with the natural world will help in protecting the environment for generations to come.
- New perspectives
Forest School isn’t just beneficial to children it is also beneficial to teachers. Observing their class in a different setting allows them to gain a new perspective and understanding of their class.
- Ripple effects
When children really engage with Forest Schools they will take their experiences home to share with friends and family. This will often encourage families to visit their local woodlands more frequently.
- Levels the playing field
Taking children outside of the classroom removes the pressures of academia and allows them to play to their strengths. This is beneficial to children who struggle in the classroom because there is more of an opportunity for them to learn at their own pace.
- Enjoyable for the children
Forest Schools are fun! It is educational whilst also allowing children to play, explore and discover. Children who participate in Forest Schools are generally observed to be happier. The fresh air, the excitement, getting mucky – it doesn’t get child friendlier than that.
All children at Wesley will receive regular opportunities to access our Forest School on a three-weekly basis throughout the entire year.