Ore Village Forest School
At Ore Village we want our children to have learning opportunities that are enjoyable, creative, challenging and adventurous. Our Forest School gives children this opportunity. With an emphasis on child-led enquiry and reflection, children are active learners in the environment, where they take on ownership of ideas, work independently with resilience and apply learning in a real life context. As a result they are able to expand their minds, developing higher level thinking skills and the self-regulation necessary to become more successful learners in the classroom and to meet the challenges of everyday life.
What is Forest School?
The Forest School concept originates in Denmark, where it was found that children who had attended forest pre-school then arrived at school with stronger social and communication skills. They were able to work well in groups and had higher levels of self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities, all of which helped to raise their academic achievements.
The Forest School Association describes Forest School as regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment. The approach is based on six key principles:
* It is a long-term inspirational and transformational process.
* It fosters a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
* It is learner-led – children express make sense of their world through self-initiated activity and play.
* It focuses on holistic development – mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth.
* It provides leaners with the opportunity to take supported risks.
* It is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously develop their professional practice.
How does Forest School work?
Our Forest School is led by Simon Bula-Edge, who has received appropriate training through Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Every child in the school will get two, five – six week blocks of Forest School each year and over the course of their time at school they will experience Forest School during different seasons whatever the weather!. This means going into our woodland area or local woods one day a week to learn skills such as fire lighting, shelter building and cooking over a camp fire. Children also learn how to use different tools to make things out of wood and find out about the different plants and animals that exist in a woodland habitat so that children can also learn to appreciate the wider world around them.