Venturing out to Forest School is a much anticipated part of the school week for children from the Nursery and up to Year 4 . We have truly enchanting woodlands at Claremont and no two days spent in them are ever same. Each session is primarily child-lead, with chosen activities ranging from building a simple woodland shelter to using natural, sustainable materials for a creative project and from learning to use tools safely to simply sharing the discovery of an unsuspecting family of earwigs with friends. Whatever the children task themselves with on a given day, Claremont Forest School is always a safe environment for them to take supported risks, test ideas, make mistakes, overcome challenges and question or rejoice in the natural world around them.
Exploring the great outdoors not only stimulates children’s natural curiosity, but makes other school subjects, such as language, mathematical and scientific topic work more relevant. As the children gain new skills and knowledge in a natural environment, so they become excited about the process of learning which, in turn enhances their potential back inside the classroom.. As self-esteem grows, children become more eager to participate in classroom activities and confidently express their ideas in front of their peers. We see other pupils clearly enjoying their improved physical stamina and motor skills whether that’s during PE lessons, on the sports field or out and about with friends during break times. Teamwork, communication, problem solving and not giving up when things don’t quite go quite to plan are skills we develop in Forest School; essential skills the children need in life!
The happy bi-product of children directing their own learning through our Forest School programme, is ultimately, the emergence of more resilient, independent, confident and creative learners. This, combined with our ability to satisfy the ongoing fascination children have with the natural world around them makes Forest School at Claremont, a very special place indeed. It can also get a bit muddy, but as every parent knows – busy little explorers on an important woodland mission are always going to get more than their hands dirty!
‘Bad weather always looks worse through a window’