We are very excited to be developing a forest school in the grounds.
Forest School provides children with the opportunity to learn in an outdoor environment where they have the right to play, the right to have access outdoors, the right to access managed risk, and the right to build resilience.
There is lots of evidence to show that Forest School helps children to develop their communication and social skills, self-esteem, independence and physical development, all of which form the prime areas of learning.
At Bloomsbury, Lisa and Susan lead Forest School sessions, supported by Mark from Forest Schools Birmingham.
The principals of Forest Schools are two fold.
On an explicit level, the child/individual perceives their learning as:
• Fun, challenging and exciting!
• Lots of 'proper' child play; den building, making shelters, exploring...
• Using traditional wood-craft skills.
• Gaining traditional tools skills.
• Understanding and practicing basic survival and bush craft skills.
• Using the art of responsible fire making for means of cooking, warmth and social interaction.
• Believing in the importance of our delicate ecosystem and how to look after our local environment, plant life and animal habitats.
• Experiencing an awareness of seasonal changes... and much more...
On an implicit level, practitioners encourage children/individuals to:
• Use their imagination!
• Leave behind social pressures related to material and social status.
• See their worth and their abilities related to tasks where there is no measurement. They are valued based on their contribution.
• Be themselves and be valued for being themselves.
• Use language and interaction based on the principals of Emotional Literacy, whereby individuals are carefully given direction in how to deal with uncomfortable situations in a positive manner.
• Improve gross and fine motor skills.
• Be aware of visual stimulus outdoors.
• Be aware of auditory stimulus outdoors.
• Develop spatial awareness.
• Become aware of a range of sensory interaction and environmental feedback.
• Develop confidence & self supporting strategies
• Learn to enjoy learning skills
• Promote independence and assessed risk taking awareness in their family life.
• Appreciate a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
We are using our Pupil Premium funding to enable us to provide Forest School sessions at Bloomsbury.