Adventures in Nature
You may have heard it said that forest school can’t be single session, that a forest school should be a long term programme over weeks. But why does this matter? There are many types of outdoor learning that can be experienced as a one-off session such as environmental education, field studies or bushcraft, for example and they all provide a great learning experience for children. In fact, all these approaches share the type of activities that children enjoy at forest school session, such as lighting a fire, building a den or woodland crafts. However, the real magic of forest school happens when the sessions are regular, ideally at least every week, for an extended period of time and if possible, take place in the same woodland across months or even seasons.
One of the guiding principles at forest school is that play is child-led, but what does this mean, why is it important and what is the role of the adults, if children are leading the way?
Child-led play, meaning children are free to choose how they play, what they play and when they stop and play something else, rather than directed by an adult, is the key to real play and is essential for children to develop and learn at a natural pace. Adults have an important role in providing boundaries and resources, but the child takes the lead, discovering, inventing and exploring, while adults watch and wait, taking cues from the children. (more…)
After running forest schools for nearly 10 years, we find ourselves answering some questions many times, so in our new series of blogs we plan to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and shed some light on the questions that never go away, starting with the weather.
So what DO we do when it rains at forest school? This is a question we often get asked and running projects in Yorkshire, its unavoidable that it will happen. Our projects are all outdoors taking place in public woodlands with no indoor venue to escape to. So the simple answer is that everyone gets a bit wet and muddy. For most people, this is fine – it can be great in fact, but for some this is a bit of a surprise! If school instigates indoor playtime if its raining or parents insist that you’ll catch a cold if you get wet, children can start to believe that there is something inherently wrong with rain. (more…)
“Autumn carries more gold in its pockets than all the other seasons.” Jim Bishop
We’ve been making the most of some beautiful autumn days with bright sunshine and beautiful autumn colours at our Forest School Play Project with Better Start Bradford. Our three new nurseries started their sessions at the end of September and have seen the children enjoying throwing and playing in the leaves, playing games of hide and seek, balancing along the trunks of fallen trees, making natural artwork and exploring the woodland. (more…)
“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August” Jenny Han
What a summer of magic it has been; the days were long, the sun shone and we had a full programme of forest school and outdoor play happening across Yorkshire. The long hot summer brought all the generations outdoors to summer events and it was great to meet so many of our existing clients and make new ones at our stand at the Great Yorkshire Show in July. When our term time programmes in Bradford and Dewsbury came to an end, we switched straight over to the holiday schedule and were busy all summer long with our popular holiday forest schools and community programmes.