Forest School

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Forest School

“No one will protect what they do not first care about.”

– David Attenborough

 

For the past number of years, the children in First and Fifth classes have had a fantastic opportunity to explore the woods near our school as they participate in Forest School with Múinteoir Hayley.

 

 

 

                                               So, What is Forest School?

 

Forest School is really just about learning outside, and understanding how to appreciate nature, while gaining respect for it and the wonderful things it can do for us. It is an exciting process that provides learners with the opportunity to get outdoors, connect with their senses and with nature while having serious fun in the process.

 

The Forest School concept originated in Scandinavia, and was originally aimed at pre-school children, however being ‘in nature’ benefits children of any age. It was found that the children who attended Forest School then arrived at school with obvious benefits including strong social and communication skills, they could work in groups efficiently, and developed a confidence in their own abilities.

 

Forest school is a person-centred process, which can build on a person’s confidence and self-esteem as they take safe but exciting risks, and initiate their own learning. The relaxed environment of Forest School, allows people to regularly experience achievement and success at their own comfortable pace.

 

How will the children benefit?

Lots of research can be found on the benefits of attending Forest School, some of which is outlined below:

 

  1. Gain knowledge about wild plants, flowers, trees and animals
  2. Build knowledge of the local natural environment
  3. Appreciate the natural world and its conservation
  4. Develop personal and practical skills
  5. Develop language, communication and social skills
  6. Improve physical motor skills
  7. Discover how they learn best
  8. Explore connections between humans, wildlife, earth and   themselves
  9. Use tools to create, build or manage
  10. Work through practical problems and challenges
  11. Build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk
  12. Have fun!

 

 

What will they learn and how does it relate to the curriculum?

English Poems, songs, rhymes, new language, folklore, discussions
Gaeilge Ag úsáid Gaeilge, amhráin, cluichí Gaeilge, ainmneacha
Maths Maths eyes, number practise-natural materials, patterns, measures
S.P.H.E. Connection with the senses, circle work, trust games, group-work
P.E. Obstacle course, navigation, scavenger hunt, nature dance
Religion St. Kevin, connection to nature, meditation, reflection
History Past/present forest uses, changes in the forest, imp. of names
Geography Observation of the environment, tracking, map reading/making
Science Materials and change e.g. fire lighting; plant and animal species
Drama Getting into role as creatures/animals, imaginative play, scenarios
Music Nature songs, making music with forest materials, natural sounds
Art Art in nature, mandala, collage, mud/clay sculpting, water painting