Open Trail (registered charity: 1172191)

hannah@opentrail.co.uk

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Forest School

Our Forest School Services...

Time spent exploring through play, self discovery and education, within a natural environment, has countless benefits.

 

Forest School encourages children to:

  • learn by doing

  • work in teams and cooperate with others

  • take and handle acceptable risks

  • think for themselves

  • develop personal and social skills

  • work through practical problems and challenges

  • use tools to create, build and manage

  • discover how they learn best

  • pursue knowledge that interests them

  • learn how to manage failures

  • build confidence in decision making

  • develop practical skills

  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth

  • regularly experience achievement and success

  • reflect on learning and experiences

  • develop their language and communication skills

  • improve physical motor skills

"It was wonderful to see the children exploring nature, having a go and working well as a team. Less confident children came alive during these sessions. Fire lighting and whittling were new experiences and the children persevered, developing new confidence and had lots of fun in a safe, happy environment. Very well led, definitely want to book again".

Teacher, Amblecote Primary School

Activities

Children and young people are encouraged to direct their own learning through play and exploration in nature, giving participants the option to take part in planned activities or to engage in free play.

Activities include…

…den building, natural shelters, minibeast hunting, mud kitchen play, climbing, building, creating, games and imaginative play, blindfold activities, storytelling, arts and crafts, survival skills, bushcraft, fire lighting, fire maintenance, cooking over fires, scavenger hunts, using specialised tools such as knives, saws, drills, light and maintain fires and cook over fires

The tasks increase in skill level. During sessions, we use specialised tools and skills such as knives, saws, drills and fire lighting equipment

Delivery options

 

Forest School is a motivational outdoor teaching method which we can design to suit the needs of your students or group. Activities can be curriculum or project based. We will meet with your teachers/leaders to develop the session plans that best suit your desired learning outcomes.

 

We provide:

  • 6-8 week Forest School Programmes

A typical Forest School programme will consist of a minimum of six once weekly sessions lasting at least 60 minutes each. Due to the nature of the activities involved the optimum number of pupils is 8-12 in each group. Our maximum is 16.

 

  • One-off discovery days

A day of freedom, discovery and child-led learning use as one off engagements with small groups of pupils, perhaps targeting those with additional requirements.

 

  • One-off reward days

Reward your hard workers and goal achievers by getting them outside! We’ll make a fire, cook up some tasty treats, build a den, play in the mud, have team games and go wherever their imagination takes them.

 

  • Curriculum-based sessions

Meet curriculum objectives outside! Engage your children in a new way, incorporate different learning styles outdoors and explore learning in a new environment.

 

  • PPA cover

We can deliver a combination or Forest School and curriculum led sessions depending on your needs.

How does it fit with Ofsted?

 

The New Common Inspection Framework covers four key areas.

 

Two of which are:

  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare

  • Outcomes for children and learners

 

From 2019 your school can now be recognised for how the curriculum provides opportunities for personal development independently of the way you deal with behaviour and pupil attitudes to learning, unlike in previous years. We help you provide evidence for these new areas of the Framework by using Forest School to provide personal development opportunities and work on the outcomes for children as individuals.

 

The October 2018 report on 'Obesity, healthy eating and physical activity in primary school' concluded that schools should focus on improving the things they are best placed to do, such as:

 

  • providing ample opportunity for children to take physical exercise during the school day – with lots of opportunities to ‘get out of breath’

 

If you would like to measure the progress of the children and young people on these programmes we can gather essential baseline information on the children such as confidence, behaviour, academic ability, relationships with others, and reassess these capabilities at the end.

"Forest School steps boldly out of the shadow and limitation of 'planned activities' and ventures into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and ultimately unlimited!"

Outdoor Education...

For some schools and community groups their desires for outdoor learning is more suited to Outdoor Education than true Forest School. This alternative involves less child-led activities and self-expression but enables us to meet your teaching and learning objectives in an outdoor setting. We plan, equip and teach curriculum focused sessions (such as in Maths, English, Science, History and Geography) in your outdoor space. This is a welcome break for many children and staff who do not learn well from being inside all day. For many, it gets your messages across in a way that is more accessible to their learning needs.

 

Click HERE to find out more!

What is Forest School?

 

Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve, and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.

 

Forest School is not a location, or a badge, it is an ethos in which children and young people are given encouragement to direct their own learning through play and exploration in nature, giving participants the option to take part in planned activities or to engage in free play. It is an holistic approach, focusing on all aspects of child development and growth simultaneously.

 

Children have fun, learn new ways of co-operating, communicating and are successful in activities set in this environment. All forest school activities and skills learnt, are play based. It allows participants to learn a wide range of skills gradually, through a series of small achievable steps, allowing their confidence in themselves and their abilities to progress in a similar manner. This hands-on learning builds self-esteem, confidence and motivation. The skills needed to be effective learners.

 

If there is something specific they want to try: from whittling, to constructing, to bug hunting to cooking, then we provide the support and encouragement for them to have a go, equipping them with some useful lifelong skills along the way. 

Time spent exploring through play, self discovery and education, within a natural environment, has countless benefits.

 

Forest School encourages children to:

  • learn by doing

  • work in teams and cooperate with others

  • take and handle acceptable risks

  • think for themselves

  • develop personal and social skills

  • work through practical problems and challenges

  • use tools to create, build and manage

  • discover how they learn best

  • pursue knowledge that interests them

  • learn how to manage failures

  • build confidence in decision making

  • develop practical skills

  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth

  • regularly experience achievement and success

  • reflect on learning and experiences

  • develop their language and communication skills

  • improve physical motor skills

"It was wonderful to see the children exploring nature, having a go and working well as a team. Less confident children came alive during these sessions. Fire lighting and whittling were new experiences and the children persevered, developing new confidence and had lots of fun in a safe, happy environment. Very well led, definitely want to book again".

Teacher, Amblecote Primary School

Activities

Children and young people are encouraged to direct their own learning through play and exploration in nature, giving participants the option to take part in planned activities or to engage in free play.

Activities include…

…den building, natural shelters, minibeast hunting, mud kitchen play, climbing, building, creating, games and imaginative play, blindfold activities, storytelling, arts and crafts, survival skills, bushcraft, fire lighting, fire maintenance, cooking over fires, scavenger hunts, using specialised tools such as knives, saws, drills, light and maintain fires and cook over fires

The tasks increase in skill level. During sessions, we use specialised tools and skills such as knives, saws, drills and fire lighting equipment.

Delivery options

 

Forest School is a motivational outdoor teaching method which we can design to suit the needs of your students or group. Activities can be curriculum or project based. We will meet with your teachers/leaders to develop the session plans that best suit your desired learning outcomes.

 

We provide:

  • 6-8 week Forest School Programmes

A typical Forest School programme will consist of a minimum of six once weekly sessions lasting at least 60 minutes each. Due to the nature of the activities involved the optimum number of pupils is 8-12 in each group. Our maximum is 16.

 

  • One-off discovery days

A day of freedom, discovery and child-led learning use as one off engagements with small groups of pupils, perhaps targeting those with additional requirements.

 

  • One-off reward days

Reward your hard workers and goal achievers by getting them outside! We’ll make a fire, cook up some tasty treats, build a den, play in the mud, have team games and go wherever their imagination takes them.

 

  • Curriculum-based sessions

Meet curriculum objectives outside! Engage your children in a new way, incorporate different learning styles outdoors and explore learning in a new environment.

 

  • PPA cover

We can deliver a combination or Forest School and curriculum led sessions depending on your needs.

How does it fit with Ofsted?

 

The New Common Inspection Framework covers four key areas.

 

Two of which are:

  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare

  • Outcomes for children and learners

 

From 2019 your school can now be recognised for how the curriculum provides opportunities for personal development independently of the way you deal with behaviour and pupil attitudes to learning, unlike in previous years. We help you provide evidence for these new areas of the Framework by using Forest School to provide personal development opportunities and work on the outcomes for children as individuals.

 

The October 2018 report on 'Obesity, healthy eating and physical activity in primary school' concluded that schools should focus on improving the things they are best placed to do, such as:

 

  • providing ample opportunity for children to take physical exercise during the school day – with lots of opportunities to ‘get out of breath’

 

If you would like to measure the progress of the children and young people on these programmes we can gather essential baseline information on the children such as confidence, behaviour, academic ability, relationships with others, and reassess these capabilities at the end.

"Forest School steps boldly out of the shadow and limitation of 'planned activities' and ventures into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and ultimately unlimited!"

Outdoor Education...

For some schools and community groups their desires for outdoor learning is more suited to Outdoor Education than true Forest School. This alternative involves less child-led activities and self-expression but enables us to meet your teaching and learning objectives in an outdoor setting. We plan, equip and teach curriculum focused sessions (such as in Maths, English, Science, History and Geography) in your outdoor space. This is a welcome break for many children and staff who do not learn well from being inside all day. For many, it gets your messages across in a way that is more accessible to their learning needs.

 

Click HERE to find out more!