Life at St Mary's
What is a Forest School?
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve, and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.
Originally a Scandinavian idea, forest schools operate on the principle that children of all ages can benefit greatly from the hands on learning opportunities inherently present in a woodland environment. In an age when many children have few opportunities to be outdoors, it offers them a way to learn and experience a broad curriculum in a woodland setting, with regular visits throughout the year.
Among the many benefits of Forest School are:
Forest Schools provide play-based learning opportunities for all children in a woodland environment.
They tailor an educational curriculum to a participant’s preferred learning style and are holistic in approach.
Forest Schools engage children: Children of all ages and all abilities find special things to do in the woods. They find that each of them can succeed at something, and they learn new ways of co-operating and communicating. Forest School leaders are finding that this experience is making a big difference to the lives of children with low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Children with particular needs and children who find indoor schooling hard to take can develop new ways of coping through working in the woods.
Who is responsible for running the Forest School?
Mr Roddy is currently our qualified Forest School Leader. He is ably assisted by Mr Thornton. This year we hope Mrs Harris and Mrs Farrell will complete their training. They will then be responsible for the safe running of the Forest School and model best practice. They will hold a current Forest School First Aid qualification. They will carry out ongoing risk assessments and will follow a pre-established Emergency Action Plan if necessary.
Will my child be using tools and cooking around a campfire?
The safe use of tools and fire is an integral part of the Forest School experience. Children will always be closely supervised and will always be taught correct methods and how to keep safe.
Will sessions go ahead in bad weather?
Sessions take place in all weathers and seasons, Children will have new experiences over the course of the year. They will always be informed of what they need to bring in advance.