A guest blog from Louise King at The Old Station Nursery, Henley.
Last week I spent a week away in the woods near Sandhurst for my Forest School training, where I learnt the importance of Forest School in children’s learning and development. It also led me to further understand how children use their imagination and how the skills learnt will help children develop their social skills, for when they become young adults. Forest School provides excellent opportunities to support the children’s social development, communication skills and also physical development throughout.
As the Worcestershire Forest School project team writes:
‘The Forest School initiative originated in Scandinavia and has been rapidly developing in England and Wales over the last 4 years. One of the reasons for this enthusiasm is that forest schools have the same basic underlying principles adopted from the Scandinavian model. A qualified forest school leader devises a program of learning that is based on the children’s interests and that allows the children to build on skills from week to week, at their own pace. They provide a safe woodland environment for the children to explore, embedded in routine that is established early within the program.”
On my course we were taught how to use different tools, so that I will be able to teach these skills to the children. We were also shown how to build and use fires correctly and safely so that we can pass this understanding on to the appropriately aged children. So far at Henley in our Forest School with Nicole, we have had a fire with the children as a special treat, although we regularly use the Killy Kettle to heat water for our hot chocolate.
Over the next few months I will be developing my knowledge and skills, so that once I am fully qualified, I will be able to carry out all of the activities. I return to the training school in 6 months’ time for a further week of training and assessment and I am very eager to continue building on what I have already learnt. We will be posting regular photos of our Forest School activities on our company Facebook Page so do have a look at what we get up to.
If you want to find out more about Forest School in general then have a look at http://www.forestschools.com.
Blog written by: Louise King