"The best classroom and the richest classroom is roofed only by the sky."
- Margaret Mc Millan
"They're not just playing in nature, they are: learning, creating, sensing, believing, relaxing, exploring, observing, wondering, connecting, discovering, appreciating, understanding, experimenting..."
- Penny Whitehouse
The capacity to make choices and initiate action are fundamental to human wellbeing. The Forest School programme at All Saints' grants children this capacity on site, in our developing outdoor area. This freedom to direct their own learning in an outdoor environment grants a host of developmental benefits which a traditional, class-based curriculum may struggle to bestow. Resilience, problem solving, teamwork, communication, creativity, emotional intelligence and wellbeing are all positively influenced by group interactions in the outdoors. At All Saints', children are encouraged to embrace new experiences and unfamiliar risk in a controlled and creative manner. Den building, rope swings, natural sculpture and obstacle courses have already been investigated during the short time Forest School has been running at All Saints. Future sessions will include cooking on open fires, pewter casting, carving and construction - presuming that the children themselves choose to engage in these activities. If not, simply finding pictures in the clouds, digging a hole or just enjoying a chat with friends will all undoubtedly take place. Learning chosen by the child, directed by the child's needs, requirements or desires, taking place under the sky and the canopy of the trees.
Pupil view of Forest School
“It’s fantastic!” Beau, Year 3
“I like it because we make nice pictures outside”. Joel, Year 1
“It really is fun. I really enjoyed making the giant Pusey on Children in Need day.” Eli, Year 3.
We learn how to use tools like the flint and steel to start fires. That’s great fun.” Ethan Year 5
Essex Wildlife Trust. https://www.essexwt.org.uk
Forest School Association. https://forestschoolassociation.org