What is Forest School?
” Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.” FSA Forest School Association
What can you expect from Forest School with us?
We aim to build children’s, and/or adult’s, skills, abilities, and confidence session by session through practical hands-on activities in the outdoors in most weathers throughout the seasons. We offer them the chance to explore, learn and discover at their own pace in a safe and supportive space using natural resources to stimulate imagination, creativity, and investigation. Activities will include:
- Woodwork using tools, e.g. making musical instruments, jewellery, decorative items, tools…
- Natural art
- Fire lighting and Cooking
- Using knots and lashings
- Shelter building
- Bug hunts
- Flora and Fauna hunts
We believe in developing the whole person. Each one of our experiences and each tool have dedicated risk-benefits assessments to ensure that through supported risk and having opportunities to learn how to manage risk for themselves, participants are enabled to develop skills for life. Below is a summary of how we believe Forest School sessions with us will benefit your child and/or yourself should you choose to become a parent/adult volunteer.
Development of large and small motor skills (coordination and skilled movements) through exploration and tool use. Both Forest School leaders have a well established and diverse background in Physical Education with a focus in fundamental moments.
- All the associated benefits of exercise and fresh air that also promote physical wellbeing.
- To awaken the senses of sight, smell, hearing, touch and in the case of food, taste
Emotional and Mental (Head)
- Learning and building new skills raises confidence in one’s own abilities therefore improves self-esteem.
- Increased risk management abilities and accountability for own wellbeing, and that of others in the group.
- We foster a ‘practice makes possible’/growth mindset and therefore build resilience.
- Joy and fun which improves mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Fosters a developing sense of independence from adults and interdependence when working with others (teamwork and collaboration).
- Direct link to ancient human survival skills – acknowledges ancestors and the landscape
- Provides a space to share thoughts, ideas and ask questions
Knowledge & Learning (Brain)
- Sustainability and environmental awareness.
- Develop a healthy respect for the environment, each other and the community.
- Experiential learning, therefore, caters to a number of learning styles.
Who are our Forest School leaders?
Tom Humphreys – A qualified PE teacher with extensive experience in primary and secondary education. From growing up in Africa as a child, Tom has always loved the outdoors and seeked adventure. Tom has led World Challenge expeditions taking pupils to Argentina, Tanzania, Nepal, Morocco and various adventurous locations across the UK.
Harley Clark – Loves adventure and the outdoors, particularly trail running and obstacle races, orienteering, bushcraft and camping.
Harley’s career has mostly been focused on service and helping. He has a BA (Hons) in Social Work and also has a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science with Geography. He has worked in youth work, education and social care settings since 2007 predominantly with children, young people and their families.
“I am passionate about the benefits of the outdoors for the physical and mental wellbeing of children, young people and adults alike. I have seen and experienced the benefits of outdoor learning and am excited to be offering this within a Forest School setting.”