Wheatfields Infants' and Nursery School

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Outdoor Learning/ Forest School

The children have the opportunity to develop their skills using the school’s on site wild area/ EYFS Forest school area. All sessions are designed around the interests of the group, ensuring that they are learner-led. Themes for sessions may be subtle such as developing our senses or exploring the site, or more obvious such as bugs, spies, or nature investigators.

Tools are used in Forest Schools in a traditional woodland manner and are introduced gradually within a structured safe base. The use of tools develops both gross and fine motor skills as well as a sense of responsibility, independence and self-confidence.

Many areas of the EYFS or National Curriculum are intrinsically covered in the Forest Schools’ experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills develop naturally through working in small groups to achieve a common goal and children use language effectively to communicate with each other in the setting. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened through activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, environmental art and even lighting fires. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills which we believe can be carried across to the classroom and applied in more structured learning environments.

The children benefit greatly from being outdoors: gaining understanding of the natural world, developing resilience and problem solving skills and allowing teachers to see their pupils in a   new context. We believe that Forest School contributes significantly to the well-being of our pupils and it always ranks highly in the memories of our pupils at the end of the school year.