Forest Schools

At Dale Hall, we are really excited to be at the start of our Forest School journey and, after the October half-term, we will be starting our first sessions. We are very fortunate to have, within our wonderful grounds, a wooded area that lends itself perfectly to Forest School activities. Over the course of the last year, huge preparations have been underway and now the site is nearly ready to be used.
 
 What is Forest School?
 Forest School is an holistic approach to learning whereby children and adults share skills and knowledge in an active and collaborative fashion. It aims to develop, amongst other things:
  • Self-awarenesss
  • Self-regulation
  • Resilience
  • Empathy
  • Independence
  • Good social communication skills including team-building
  • A positive mental attitude, self esteem and confidence
As well as nurturing a love of, and a respect for, nature and the natural environment and a true resilience for being outside in all weathers!
 You can read more about the ethos and 6 principles that Forest School runs by, and which we shall be adhering to, here: Forest School Ethos and Principles
What happens at Forest School?
Forest School is child led learning so the sessions are guided by the children's interests. The Forest School Leaders have been trained to observe the children and be led by them. This allows for lots of exploration, play and discovery. Alongside this, based upon the children's interests, adult led activities will take place which help the children to learn new skills such as whittling, sawing, den building and fire building. The adult:child ratio at Forest School is higher than in other learning areas to allow this to happen.
 Some activities might be:
  • Learning to use tools such as peelers,knives, saws, pruners and loppers. These skills can then feed into other activities.
  • Whittling to make skewers for cooking or craft activities.
  • Cooking.
  • Den building.
  • Mud kitchen.
  • Weaving.
  • Bug hunting and identification.
And there are many more!
What should my child wear for Forest School?
The most important thing is that, with the exception of high winds, Forest School takes place in all weathers! Because of this, it's extremely important that all participants (adult helpers too!) are dressed appropriately for the weather and activities. Generally this means many layers for the Winter and less for the Summer but always with long sleeves and trousers because of the environment in which we will be working. The school will provide waterproof trousers but all other clothing should be brought in by the children.