At Phoenix we have recently introduced Forest School for our children.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment. These sessions are used to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
Some of these activities are held on the school premises and some are held off site at King’s Wood in Challock. These activities are held in all weathers and the children often get very wet and muddy.
The aim of these sessions is that the children will learn:
Practical bush-craft skills, including fire-lighting, knife-craft, knots and shelter building
Conservation activities and the ‘leave no trace’ philosophy
Naturalist skills, including plant identification and animal tracks and signs
During these sessions the children will have the opportunity to work with hand-tools, e.g. palm drills and saws, as well as working with small fires. The children will be taught how to use the equipment properly as well as being taught how to stay safe outside and being made aware of any potential hazards.
These session are life skills that everyone needs in order to ensure their own, and others, safety by providing learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
At Phoenix, all sessions are run by our newly-trained Forest Schools practitioner, Mrs Jeffery: “After taking my son to an outdoor toddler group I could see how much he loved being outside in the natural environment, and I wanted to offer that same opportunity to the children at school. Giving the children the freedom to lead their own learning, to explore and discover, to be independent, to take risks and achieve, is a truly rewarding experience”