Forest School at St Michael in the Hamlet offers a unique hands-on outdoor natural learning experience on our own grounds; that compliments both the school’s ethos and curriculum.
All learners progress through a number of sessions, where trained Forest School staff use a repetitive process of planning, observation and review to inform and assist in tailoring an individual’s personal development.
We use a holistic approach in a natural woodland setting to focus on building positive personal attributes such as self-confidence, independence and self-esteem enabling our children to become independent, innovative and inspired learners.
Our outdoor environment gives us a unique place which we use in a fun and challenging way, where learners may choose to follow a suggested activity or to pursue their own ideas so they can further their own development and practice new skills.
Learners are offered the opportunity to work independently or with others; use tools, make dens, explore, create, investigate and experience camp fires. Here we also have the opportunity to manage and take risks in a safe and responsible way.
Forest School is run by Mrs Owen, who qualified as a Forest School practitioner earlier this year and compliments her role as the Outdoor Provision Lead. Additionally, she is also qualified as an Outdoor First Aider and holds various Health and Safety qualifications. She is also a member of the Forest School Association and LOGs (Learning Outdoor Group)
Forest School sessions are also run with the invaluable help from Mr Cowell and Mrs Paisley.
We hope that every child will have the opportunity to experience some Forest School sessions during each year, building on their experiences as they move up through the school.
Please see notice boards to find out when Family Forest School sessions run.
There is no charge for the sessions, however Parents and Carers must attend with their children. Places may need to be limited for safety reasons depending on numbers. Please wear or bring suitable clothing and footwear for this activity and come whenever you can.
Whilst every effort will be made to operate Family Forest School sessions there may be occasions when this may not be possible, (bad weather, high winds, storms or unforeseen circumstances) please check the notice boards before arrival as sessions may be cancelled at short notice.
Forest School’s foundations lie with strong influence and links with many of the leading philosophers, naturalists and outdoor educators since the early 1800’s and continuing to the present day. Scandinavian countries; Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark all operate very successful schools of this style. They are known as friluftsilv or ‘free open-air life’. All share a common theme; the learner-centered learning in a natural outdoor environment.
Well known theorists such as Frobel, Dewey, Pestalozzi, and Stiener together with educationalists like Susan Isaacs, Maria Montessori and many others like Baden Powell, John Muir all helped lay the foundations that Forest School is based on.
Here in the UK, following the introduction and development of the national curriculum, Forest School grew from the passion for an ‘alternative’ educational model. Here at St Michael in the Hamlet we believe that Forest School is a natural and effective compliment to the classroom based learning.
For more information visit the following link.