Background Forest School has been an integral part of Early Years education in Scandinavia since the 1950s. The philosophy was based upon a desire to provide young children with an education that encouraged an appreciation of the natural world and responsibility for nature conservation in later life.
As you may know, Whitefriars Primary has elected to create and deliver a similar programme entitled ‘Woodland Adventures’, which incorporates many aspects similar to the traditional Forest School – but enables us to offer different activities.
What does it involve? Small groups of children are taken on a regular basis during the week to the outdoor area of school and allowed to explore the natural environment. Every class gets half a term during the academic year. The idea of Woodland Adventures is to allow children the time and space to explore and learn at their own pace. They are not left unsupervised or put in any dangerous situations, (there are clear boundaries and rules), but they are encouraged to be independent thinkers.
At Whitefriars Primary, we are blessed with many other areas to carry out our school activities. These include an enormous playing field which is backed by a river and woods; great for science, art and PE. There are also the benches and tables in a garden area, where we can eat our sandwiches surrounded by flowers. We have an allotment; an outdoor classroom and a new reading garden. To cover these areas would need a whole new article. We are really thankful for our outdoor spaces!