Forest School at Upton Westlea is about giving our children the opportunity:
- to have new experiences;
- to learn and achieve new things;
- to develop self-esteem and confidence;
- and to be able to keep themselves safe in an outdoor space.
All this is done within an environment and ethos of being safe and having fun.
We have a well-established Forest School site , with a mix of older and newer trees, mixed habitats, garden planters, outdoor classroom, open field and our fire circle, which is a fantastic resource to use when teaching our children about our local environment. Our Forest school activities are planned to link closely to learning in the classroom, developing themes and ideas in a different setting. During sessions, children are also allowed some free time to socialise and play independently to build their communication skills and self-esteem.
Each class (Y1 – Y6) undertakes a half a term block of learning every year. The children will go outdoors in all weathers, and over their time at Upton Westlea will witness the environment changing all year round with the seasons. Natural resources are used as much as possible to stimulate creative thinking and skills development. During some sessions, we may look at developing different skills including using simple tools and exploring risk but each session will be risk assessed and a qualified First Aider will be present at each session.
Food is another important part of our Forest School sessions, and a snack is provided during every session. In order to finance this, we do ask for a one-off contribution of £2 per pupil which will cover the whole programme, including our final celebration session which includes having toasted marshmallows around the fire.
We hope that by giving the children memorable learning experiences, they will develop a love and respect for their environment which they will take with them into their adult life.
WHAT THE CHILDREN WILL NEED:
We aim to take the children out whatever the weather, taking inspiration from Alfred Wainwright who wrote “There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” in his 1973 book Coast to Coast.
The children will need to come to school dressed in suitable clothing on a Forest School day. The children may wear this clothing all day but please provide a change of clothing (including socks) in a bag in case they need to change.
Essentials – all year round
- Old clothes that may get muddy and wet. Please can the children wear long trousers all year round.
- Suitable footwear – wellies or walking boots (named and in a bag)
- Waterproof jacket and trousers are essential (or an all in one suit) in cold/wet weather
- Several layers of clothing, including thick socks
- Warm hat, scarf and gloves during colder periods
- Sun hat and sun cream during hot and sunny periods
PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL CLOTHING IS NAMED!
Forest School sessions are currently on a Tuesday afternoon and you will be notified, in advance, when your child’s class are due to have their sessions:
Autumn 1 – ASH (Year 2)
Autumn 2 – HAZEL (Year 3)
Spring 1 – BIRCH (Year 4)
Spring 2 – HOLLY (Year 5)
Summer 1 – WILLOW (Year 1)
Summer 2 – OAK (Year 6)