In the last five years there have been many developments in the world of Forest Schools. In the region there has been an increase in the interest of the principles and approaches that Forest Schools espouses with the number of those going through training and onto the delivery of programmes in settings has also increased. There is now a great deal of interest in the nursery education sector and in the primary schools as well. In secondary schools there is a greater emphasis on children and young people who are struggling in the more 'normal' confines of a classroom experience and these children are benefiting from the sustained and strategic approach of Forest Schools.
A picture of children in a Forest Schools session playing Kazoo's they have made out of natrul materialBy 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.These, through self awareness can be developed to reach personal potential.
Forest Schools has demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and through play, who 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, for about 36 weeks, 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.
So Forest Schools will aim to develop:
- Self Awareness
- Self Regulation
- Intrinsic motivation
- Good social communication skills
- A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
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.