“Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder” There is no bad weather, just bad clothes
Implemented in Sweden in the 1950’s and developed throughout other Scandinavian and European Countries, the Forest School ethos focuses on providing a safe, outdoor environment where children and young people are freely allowed to explore, discover, take suitable risks and learn in a secure area of woodland, which acts as an outdoor classroom. This provides children and young people with endless opportunities to improve their educational, physical and social skills by bringing learning to life.
All of our pupils in the school take part in the lessons. These are held in the school grounds utilising the wooded area behind the Gloucester Schools football building and leading up to the pond area. Activities include pond dipping, shelter building, kite making, wood crafting, orienteering, fire building and much more.
What we feel is important is this is an all weather lesson for the children. As such the Friends of LJS and the school itself funded the purchase of waterproof jackets and trousers for use during sessions. These were a vital piece of kit and have helped to keep out the rain on numerous occasions!
The children are encouraged to develop their decision making and independence whilst raising their self-esteem. Sessions are designed to accommodate all children’s learning styles. Forest School supports the five key areas of Every Child Matters (Safe; Healthy; Enjoy & achieve; Economic wellbeing; making a Positive contribution).
Why is Forest School so good?
• It’s FUN!
• Develops the whole child and the skills of co-operation, negotiation, decision-making, risk-taking and assessment of risk to self and others.
• Develops problem solving skills and promotes creative thinking.
• Raises self-esteem, but is particularly beneficial to low academic achievers who have the opportunity to become high achievers and leaders in the Forest School / Outdoor setting.
• A raised self esteem leads to improvements in other curriculum areas.
• Presents the opportunity to develop language/vocabulary through social interaction.
• Can be linked to complement other curriculum areas.
• Nurtures a respect and knowledge of their environment.
What should the children for Forest School?
• Warm Base Layers (i.e. vest, long sleeved T shirt, jumper (or two), jogging bottoms)
• Coat / Fleece
• Waterproof trousers / dungarees
• Waterproof Coat
• Thick socks or two pair of medium thickness.
• Wellies or sturdy waterproof boots.
• Hat and Gloves.
• Long sleeved top
• Long trousers
• Sun hat or cap with neck protection
• Sturdy shoes, (not sandals any other open toed shoes.)
‘….it lets you see the nature and to help you understand what nature is really about but in a fun way like not writing it down on paper’ – Katelyn.
‘…getting muddy and finding insects and discovering things in the pond are what make Forest School fun for me! – Cameron
‘….ask my pupils what their favourite lesson of the week is and I’d put money on the majority of them saying Forest School’ – class teacherCold Weathe
‘….Just to say thank you for showing us the Forest Schools session. I thought it was really brilliant what you have put together and absolutely essential for the children. During the day, I witnessed so much learning going on which would take days to accomplish in the classroom environment. Definitely food for thought.