In September 2019, we introduced Forest School to Curwen. Year 3 have been the first children to be lucky enough to have this experience where their science lessons were brought to life in the great outdoors at West Ham Park. Since then we have been able to take year 3 and 4 to the park each week for Forest School usually linked to science or geography knowledge and skills. Other children that have been enjoying learning through forest school sessions (either in the park, or the playground Forest School area) include those from year 1, Reception, KS1 maths, nurture groups and SEND groups.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners and involves child-led sessions in a woodland or natural environment, primarily using natural resources. It aims to promote resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
Why do children need Forest School?
In today’s current climate of technological overload and urbanisation there are fewer opportunities for active play than in the past. This is particularly true in London where many children do not have their own garden to play in and so rely on being taken to other outdoor spaces. These conditions contribute to a lack of physical activity and general fitness, which can increase health problems including obesity. Forest School seeks to reduce these problems through promoting active play and learning in the outdoors. Indeed, it can have immediate and long-term benefits including improvements in general fitness, a healthier lifestyle, and better physical, intellectual and social skills. What’s more, the children love it!
Where does Forest School take place?
- Forest School sessions take place in West Ham Park.
- The school grounds are also being developed to support more outdoor nature activities.
What do children do at Forest School?
Children carry out a range of outdoor activities that develop their skills and knowledge relating to the National Curriculum.
Some activities may include: mini beast hunts; plant and animal identification; observation of seasonal changes; land art; tree-climbing; digging; whittling; sawing, den building, fire-lighting and outdoor cooking.
What clothing do children need to attend Forest School?
-For health and safety reasons, children need to wear weather-appropriate, full length clothing and walking boots or wellies.
-We can provide all children taking part with waterproof trousers.
Here are the 5 Forest School Rules we use at Curwen: