At Callis Grange we are very proud of our Forest School Zone! We use this area all year round to learn specific forest school skills and also support our learning in other areas of the curriculum!
All classes in Key Stage 1 experience working in teams building their own story tents. Later in the year the children will extend these skills into knot tying and den building.
Have a look at the photos to see the exciting learning that takes place.
The children apply their tent building skills from Term 1 to make their own outdoor dens made from just tarpaulin and ropes. To help them with this, they also learn how to tie different types of simple knots. Everyone enjoys this and the children become very competitive. Once they are finished the dens are waterproof tested with the children inside!
As part of Friendship Week, children visit Forest School and take ‘Fairy Wool’ from the ‘Fairy Tree’ and make bracelets with a friend. This activity develops children’s fine motor skills, communication skills, problem solving and role play. The children are encouraged to go on to write an imaginative story based on being good friends.
Forest School is transformed into an outdoor obstacle course! The children then work in pairs and guide each other around the course. One child wears a blindfold and the other child gives them step by step instructions. This activity develops communication skills and encourages children to empathise with the needs of others. The children really enjoy this activity and the adults are always on hand to steer them in the right direction!
The children take part in a nature walk. They identify, search for and identify different types of flora and fauna within Forest School. They also learn how to measure the ages of trees. This is always a fun collaborative experience and the children are always surprised at how old our trees actually are!
The children begin to learn how to make a fire safely and the rules of conduct for when they are using fire. These sessions include cooking basic foods such as marshmallows and popcorn. Children are never left unsupervised during these sessions and all the teachers are fully trained in how to deliver these lessons in a safe and fun way. The children do love their S’mores!
The Callis Grange Gruffalo
We have our own Gruffalo sculpture in our Forest School. He was sponsored by the Rotary Club, Waitrose and our parents by supporting our Greedy Gruffalo Cake Sale and was carved by Bruk Tree Surgery. As part of the unveiling, the Drama Club performed the story and the whole school sung ‘The Gruffalo Song’. Our Headboy and Headgirl cut the ribbon and there he was! Have a look at the fantastic photos.
Manor House Forest School
Every year our Year 1 children visit the Manor House Forest School and have fantastic experiences…and lots of fun! Click below…
What is a Forest School?
A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning. The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences.
By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment each participant has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound emotional and social skills.
Forest Schools have demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and, through play, have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and, most importantly, to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. Forest School programmes run throughout the year, going to the woods in all weathers (except for high winds). Children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self motivated.
Forest Schools aim to develop:
- Self awareness
- Self regulation
- Intrinsic motivation
- Good social communication skills
- A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
A Forest School, through its application of Accelerated Learning techniques creates a unique learning vehicle that is used to encourage a range of individuals, community groups and larger organisations to utilise their local open space for interactive play, health, recreation and personal development uses.
Children, and more and more adults, need time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This time and reflective practice develops understanding of the world, the environment and everything within it through the use of emotions, imagination and senses.
At Callis Grange we fully support the Forest Schools ethos and aim to provide as many children as possible access to such a beneficial and stimulating learning environment.