A wilder Curriculum
Originating in Scandinavia during the 1970’s, the Forest School approach involves participants learning outdoors, on a regular sustained basis. It is a long-term learner led educational process that promotes, observes and explicitly supports the holistic development of children, young people and adults in an outdoor (preferably woodland) environment. In line with the ethos, I believe people can only truly connect to nature, and have an understanding of its value and worth, if they have hands on learning experiences themselves. This will provide you with a much more profound experience, and a memory that perhaps will last you your lifetime. At forest school, as experiences sustain, participants gain a better understanding of their natural environment; perhaps forging a connection, or mounting to a feeling of ownership. In turn, outlooks can become influenced, views may change, and more thought and consideration may be given to the importance of preserving such environments for the future.
Every child has an innate curiosity about the world that surrounds them and wholesome instincts to learn. Forest School builds on this natural intuition, and offers opportunities for children to achieve through hands-on learning experiences in an outdoor environment.
Children are free to make choices, initiate their learning and take appropriate risks; in turn encouraging positive attitudes and builds resilience. Forest school programmes emphasise the development of self-esteem, communication and social skills, personal responsibility and citizenship. These skills feed-back positively into school and other settings.
When incorporated into the curriculum on a regular basis, Forest School can enrich and link to areas of development and learning, that sometimes lessons in a classroom with 4 walls cannot.
Dorset Rewilding works with schools across the county delivering tailor made outdoor education programmes, working in school grounds.
Please contact us direct for more information on forest school programmes in school.
Forest school lends itself perfectly to children and adults with additional learning difficulties. By the very nature of the natural setting participants generally feel calmer and less inhibited to learn. Every session takes into account individual and group needs, learning ability, styles of learning and stages of development. A suitable programme can be discussed and formulated with teachers/carers and adapted to include all individual needs of the group.
School does not suit every child! Parents are increasingly choosing to home-educate their children, as an alternative to mainstream education. Forest School programmes can be tailored to the individual requirements and needs of a group.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Children develop quickly in the early years, where learning through play in a highly stimulating environment is vital in developing cognitive and motor skills, co-ordination and movement. A woodland setting lends itself perfectly to this growth and offers many opportunities for toddlers to enhance their sensory stimuli i.e. touching and feeling natures textures, making smelly potions from natures scents, climbing and balancing on natures appartus, or making creative masterpeices from natures treasures. Dorset Rewilding runs a weekly parent and toddler group - see here and is a great way to meet new parents, and indeed like-minded ones who may share your love of the great outdoors!