Forest School at Long Wittenham CE Primary School
Our unique setting enables us to benefit from Forest School sessions as part of our wider curriculum. Nature makes us relax, builds our resilience and often makes all that surrounds us more meaningful; we feel more at peace. The children at our school are privileged to spend quality time outdoors through Forest School and under the guidance of our Forest School professionals.
What is Forest School?
Forest School offers a learning environment with a balanced curriculum in nature. Links are made to the national curriculum subjects studied in school and we spend as much time outside (no matter what the weather holds) to learn to care for ourselves, each other and our environment.
With guidance from a certified Forest School Practitioner, Assistant and caring volunteers, and while using strict PPE and thorough risk assessments, children are offered a space to experiment and explore. We climb trees, build bridges and learn to handle tools like saws, mallets, and drills. We make bird boxes, whittle objects and bring nature into the classroom at every available opportunity. We expand our knowledge with experiments aimed at stretching our imagination and harnessing our interests. We tell stories and share experiences around the campfire, do arts and crafts and enjoy reflecting on our learning while sipping our hot drink at the end of the session.
We are fortunate enough to be able to offer Forest School across all year groups. Reception children participate in weekly sessions while older year groups take part in sessions on a rota throughout the year, thus ensuring that they experience Forest School throughout all seasons and in all of its glory.
Our Forest School site
Sessions are held at the Sylva Foundation’s Future for Education site that has been partly planted by our school children. This site is in the heart of the village and a mere 5 minute walk from our school gate. 750 trees of 48 different species were planted by children from Long Wittenham CE Primary and 20 other schools in Oxfordshire. The site also comprises of our community orchard which the children pass through on their way. Because of this strong community link and the fact that they have played such a huge role in setting up the site, our children are immensely proud to now play in and guard this piece of young woodland where they feel safe and at one with nature.
National Trust – 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4
For more information about Forest School in general, please go to https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/, or come and pay us a visit!