Forest Schools at St Joseph's In The Park
The school is fortunate to have a beautiful small mixed woodland area that changes with the seasons displaying Snowdrops, Bluebells, Fungi and stunning Autumn leaf fall. The children are now able to experience all these different weathers, textures and colours in their Forest School Sessions.
Forest Schools started in Scandinavia in the 1980's where there is a tradition stating that;
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing"
Forest School allows children the opportunity to spend time outdoors for a whole afternoon so they can play games, build shelters and make woodland art, they have time to be quiet and reflect on the nature around them and appreciate their environment. The children learn to be independent and to start to risk assess for themselves, a skill children often have little experience of today.
They can choose to work alone or with others on their projects and there is always a time for celebrating each other's achievements in our campfire sessions. The woodland provides the materials for their projects, which are often created for the moment, so the building is more important than the end product allowing children to be creative and imaginative. They start to move away from their traditional class based friendship groups and appreciate others strengths while supporting others who may not find practical skills easy.
Some comments from parents who have asked their children how they felt about their Forest School sessions.
"Forest School has had an amazing impact, he now looks around the garden and examines the foliage and animals he finds."
"He really enjoyed getting dirty – not allowed to with me!"
"He is much more enthusiastic about Country walks with us, especially in the snow."
"She loved being outside, she told us about birds and how to build a fire, also about safety. She told us how much quicker it is to make things with other people."
"I feel that it has also given the children a greater appreciation of nature and the eco-system that exists around them."