"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" William Butler Yeates
Forest School is often confused as a place, and understandably so; the term 'Forest School' implies that it is a place. However, Forest School is so much more than a place. Forest School is an educational ethos that recognises each child as both unique and competent. It provides child-centered holistic learning in an outdoor environment for 'children' of all ages, including adults.
Through real life, first hand experiences of play, exploration, experimentation, social interactions and reflection, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning both during and away from Forest School. Unlike regular didactic classroom teaching Forest School places the student central to their experience, providing them with the freedom to follow their interests and learn at their own pace alongside a specialised Forest School Leader.
A relatively new approach to learning in the United Kingdom, Forest School has been functioning on these shores since as recently as 1995. Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia, an area rated with the best education system, the happiest people and the greatest sense of well-being in the entire world. Many people claim the success is a result of the education system (formal classroom education is replaced with Forest School until age 7) further promoting the use of Forest School around the world.
INCORPORATING FOREST SCHOOL INTO YOUR SCHOOL
CommuniTree has worked with a number of schools to incorporate Forest School into their curriculum. Services can range from a full term (10 sessions) to a whole year of Forest School delivery, ensuring Forest School is a regular part of the school curriculum. All sessions are delivered by a fully qualified Forest School Leader (Level 3).
Sessions can be delivered at one of our sites or on your very own school grounds. We have worked with a number of schools to transform unused school land into excellent learning environments that create an excellent space for Forest School and Outdoor Learning.
"The forest school sessions are outstanding. Over the weeks the children have developed so many physical and life skills, whilst learning about nature, bonding with each other and having a wonderful time."
Mrs.Lynchey Year 3/4 Teacher Holcombe Brook Primary
Outdoor Learning Program
Our Outdoor Learning program provides schools with an opportunity to take their learning outside of the classroom and meet the requirements of the national curriculum while spending theraputic time in the great outdoors.
We have specially designed outdoor learning programs for each season that are age appropriate to suit all children. Working closely with the class teacher we ensure that our sessions overlap with current classroom topics ensuring that the children arrive back in the classroom enthusiastic and excited to continue their learning. Letter writing takes on a whole new element when the children find a reply hanging in the trees from the fairies; vikings come alive as children build their own boats and sail them in the mud pit and understanding habitats will never be the same again once you've built a home for your very own hedgehog!
"A big shout out for The CommuniTree Initiative. I've just spent the last 10 weeks with a group of children in the woods by our school. They have had the time of their lives!! I have watched each of them blossom and learn SO much over that time..all whilst having real fun! I can't praise The CommuniTree Initiative enough."
Mrs. Sheemans St.Andrews Year 1 Teacher
Bring your class into the great outdoors for a fun day of Outdoor Learning. Topics such as 'The Great Outdoors'; 'Stone Age'; and 'Habitats' are best understood when experinced in a natural environment.
Our curriculum days are fun and educational and provide children with an opportunity to interact experientially with their classroom topics. The Stone Age comes alive as children learn about how different life was then by exploring the woods and learning about foraging, medicines and shelter. They get their hands on Mammoth Skins and Sabre Tooth Tiger intestine (we encourage them to use their imagination) to build their own shelters, they make their our own bows and arrows and communicate through mud paintings.
Our curriculum days take place at one of our woodland sites in a fun and relaxed environment that combine games, play, learning and discovery.
We believe that every childhood should have a healthy helping of outdoor play based fun where children are allowed to explore, create and build friendships in the great outdoors.
Bring your class along for a school trip they'll always remember. Our experienced leaders deliver a blend of fun nature games, nature art activities, childrens bushcraft and tons of fun, all in a play based fashion that allows children to follow their own interests and make the most of their day in the woods.
"Thank you for a fabulous 2 days at CommuniTree. The children and staff have had excellent things to say about the trip. A chorus of "When can we go again?" says it all!
As you may have been aware some of the children on the trip had special educational needs and can often find it difficult in new situations and also in a formal school environment but the way your team nurtured them and immediately catered for their interests was amazing. You really engaged them. I can honestly say I've never seen my class so independent and relaxed. It was such a rewarding experience for all the children. We would definitely love to return."
Claire Burke- Peel Brow Primary School Teacher