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Forest School at WCPS – an overview

Forest School and outdoor learning is an important part of what we offer to our children at Worsbrough Common Primary School and Rising Stars.

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Risk and Challenge

Everyday life always involves a degree of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this. They need to understand that the world can be a dangerous place and that care needs to be taken when negotiating their way round it. Our school’s ethos is one of encouraging confident, lifelong learners who are willing to have a go, showing a can do attitude. Forest School activities promote the understanding that the process is more important than the product and thus are a great way of supporting learning and development in our children.

Through experiencing learning in a safe and supportive outdoors environment, children gain a sense of value for the wider, natural world, a sense of responsibility for their environment, in addition to growing self-esteem, confidence and physical and emotional strength.

All of our children will be given the opportunity to take part in Forest School activities. They will be supported to give each child the maximum potential to develop new skills and be successful in all activities.

Children will be offered opportunities to try new things and to express themselves in ways they are confident to use.

Children will not feel pressured to take part in any activity they feel uncomfortable or unconfident with.

Children will be taught rules and will be encouraged to discuss and voice their opinions with regards to these.

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OK IS OK!

As adults we will support children during Forest School activities with sensitive interventions. We will demonstrate and teach new skills and will scaffold these as appropriate when children are experimenting with their use. Observations and knowledge of the children will enable us to know when to intervene and provide support, using questioning and commentary to promote children’s inquiry and independence. There is always success in what happens in these activities, as adults we may need to help children identify what these are. There isn’t always an end product, whether intentionally or not, but there is always learning taking place.

Children will be encouraged to ask questions and express ideas.

Adults will be learners and investigators alongside children.

Adults will use skilled observation and knowledge of the children to provide sensitive interventions, which promote learning and development.

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 We Want Children To

  • Feel safe, secure and happy outdoors
  • Become confident and independent learners
  • Develop their exploratory and creative drive
  • Have time to ask questions and find their own answers.
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As Adults We Will

  • Provide a range of activities that are responsive to children’s needs and interests. We will carry out extensive risk assessments and will implement safe practices for the use of equipment, tools and resources. All activities will balance risk with the development benefit and wellbeing of children.
  • We will provide waterproof and protective clothing when children take part in Forest School activities.

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As Parents/Carers we ask you

  • To provide appropriate footwear and clothing for your child. E.g. warm coat in Winter, wellies/strong trainers/boots.

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