Forest Schools is an outdoor learning concept which is designed to encourage and inspire learners of all ages and abilities. It provides children with hands-on, practical experience immersed in the natural environment around them. Forest School is a long term process which encourages children to develop risk management skills through independent learning opportunities using tools, fire and other resources which are rigorously risk-assessed and managed safely.
It is a professionally led experience facilitated by highly trained and qualified members of staff. Forest Schools is a flexible and holistic approach to learning which allows the children to be independent learners and where the process of the task is valued far beyond the outcome. It is a skills based concept which provides invaluable opportunities for children to hone their communication, social and problem solving skills which are later transferable to other aspects of their lives.
At Bell Farm, all children in the Early Years (Nursery and Reception) will experience planned and exciting Forest Schools Sessions throughout the year! This will occur on a rolling programme so that every child has the opportunity to partake as it is important to keep Forest School class sizes small so that the children can receive the adult led input they require. We are fortunate enough to have 4 members of staff who are fully qualified ‘Level 3 Forest School Practitioners’ to lead our sessions:
Miss C Hopkins (Year 1 Teacher)
Mrs L Walker (Year 2 Teacher)
Miss E Glauch (Head of EYFS)
Miss J Bruce (Nursery Teacher)
Mrs J Stephenson (Year 4 Teacher)
Mrs Midmore (Year 1 Teacher)
Bell Farm Forest Schools Ethos
We believe that in order for children to learn, progress and grow, they must be confident and encouraged to take risks and supported as they reflect to learn through their mistakes. Through Forest Schools, children are given the true hands-on experience often missing in the classroom environment to manage risk and make their own decisions; we believe this enables the children to be truly confident learners.
Forest Schools provides children with opportunities to engage in hands-on, motivating and most importantly achievable activities in the natural environment and in all weathers. We believe that by working with fire and tools, learning about boundaries and behavior and having vast and varied opportunities to develop physically and socially, every child is able to develop their confidence, self-esteem and love of learning.
We aim to foster an appreciation and understanding of the natural world and a learning environment which considers the needs of the ‘whole child’ and, in turn, promotes the importance of social, moral, spiritual and cultural development alongside academic achievement. We believe that the foundations of Forest School provide the perfect platform to achieve this goal by encouraging team building and group work, challenging yet achievable ‘real-life’ activities and consistent opportunities for reflection.
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Bell Farm Primary School
Hersham Road, Hersham,
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 5NB
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