Forest School is led by Mrs Thomas
At Nursteed School we are fortunate to have beautifully laid out grounds to include a small woodland which was planted with a range of native trees when the school was built sixteen years ago and this has now become our Forest School and wildlife area. Within this area we have also established a wild life pond and a small meadow.
Forest School allows children to spend time in the woods over a regular and extended length of time so that they become familiar with the outdoor natural environment and discover that learning can occur beyond the classroom. It gives all learners an opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem through its practical, hands-on learning experience in an outdoor setting. The children are able to experience this setting and the practical child-led learning of Forest School during their time at Nursteed, beginning with Welly Walks at EYFS and progressing to a longer block of Forest School sessions, presently taking place in years 3, 4 and 5. The children experience a fortnightly session of Forest School across two terms in each of these year groups.
With an experienced and qualified NOCN Level 3 Forest School leader and a group of adult volunteers to assist, the children are guided through their own play-based learning aimed at developing not only their intellect but also their physical, emotional and mental well-being. The high adult to child ratio allows the children to engage in more challenging play and tasks, such as learning to use tools, cooking on a camp fire and climbing trees, which are part of every session. Forest School embraces every aspect of the curriculum and many of these are revisited back in the classroom and used to reinforce learning particularly in science lessons. With freedom to explore and the open choice of Forest School the children grow and develop using natural curiosity, a love of nature and a sense of responsibility towards it. They learn to manage their own risk-taking and how to stay safe when using saws and knives. Opportunities such as these have brought about a remarkable growth in confidence for many children. They engage in caring for the wildlife area through putting up bird boxes, coppicing trees, creating animal habitats and insect homes. From listening to birds to cooking on a fire, pond dipping or quietly reflecting on our morning, Forest School is a powerful learning opportunity which the children at Nursteed love.