The offer of forest school at Oastlers provides leaners with the opportunity to explore different surroundings outside of the classroom, promoting experiential learning in a stimulating, relaxing and enriching outdoor environment. Its ethos of “freedom with purpose” connecting with the outdoor environment and everything that it offers. Forest school promotes safe risk taking, independence and self-awareness for all leaners as well as developing communication skills, resilience and team building skills.
Forest school sessions provide increasingly diverse opportunities for children to benefit from a supportive curriculum that can help learners build positive values and attitudes about themselves, about learning and the environment in which they live. Learners are given appropriately challenging and achievable tasks that build their confidence, skills and independence and are given time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This time and reflective practice develop inter and intra-personal skills, which are well documented as being directly linked to learning skills. During each session it may be possible that different learners are engaged in different tasks, the forest school lead and supporting staff will coordinate these actives and allow the learner(s) to learn at their own pace and direction of their choice engaging in the activities that they choose to. The activities that are initially planned have been selected to reinforce the skills listed above in a safe, secure and supportive environment. The ‘play’ during the session may seem ‘unstructured’ but it is designed to promote natural playfulness to evolve, allowing the learner to engage with the activity and just ‘go with the flow’ of the session. The whole programme is designed to provide learners with an experiential learning experience that promotes a curiosity about the natural world around them.
Forest school at Oastlers aims to promote the skills below in order to support;
Combined with residential opportunities, learners will have a unique perspective on their environment giving them the confidence to explore their own communities with a greater understanding of the impact of nature and wildlife, encouraging enjoyment of the great outdoors and develop and understand how it should be protected.