Forest School

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Hampton Court House Nursery and Reception children have timetabled Forest School sessions every week.

The focus of Forest school is not to transfer knowledge to a child but to facilitate the child in their own learning. It is play based, child led learning that takes place outdoors.

Forest School provides a learning environment that stimulates a child’s innate creativity and utilises the senses of touch, sound, sight and smell. It is about connecting with the natural world and learning to manage risk. Forest School lets children, naturally, through their play, lead the learning in a woodland setting.

As the sessions are focused on the process of learning, Forest School leaders have to step outside the box of strict lesson planning and venture into the exciting territory of the unexpected and unplanned. A Forest School leader facilitates learning by providing opportunities for children to explore and discover through open-ended activities.

Forest School provides children with a space to take risks, to hypothesise and test those hypotheses, to communicate, co-operate, problem solve and construct. As a result of participating in these sessions, children often demonstrate increased self-esteem and self-confidence, improved social skills, improved physical motor skills, improved motivation and concentration, and increased knowledge and understanding of the environment. Children also develop language and communication skills through social play.

The children learn to identify mini beasts and local flora in their natural habitat. They learn how to use full size tools to build shelters, dig and make mud clumps. They play with water and make leaf pictures.

Once a term, the Early Years children and their team go to Tree House Learning woods in Ham. You can check their website: www.treehouselearning.co.uk

Latifa Mihoubi

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