Forest School at Telferscot is an amazing platform for children to develop their independence, confidence and self-esteem by taking part in activities that connect them to nature. As a London school, we believe that enhancing the children’s connection to the natural world is an important life skill.
As part of our creative curriculum offer, Nursery to Year 2 engage with our Forest School programme. Our aims are that each child will have an increased ability to:
- appreciate, respect and care for the natural environment around them.
- develop their resilience and emotional intelligence.
- work cooperatively in groups with increasing respect for one another.
- increase their vocabulary and communication skills.
- problem solve and develop practical skills to build and create.
Forest School sessions are carefully planned out and structured to encourage discovery and risk taking within a safe and positive environment. Groups of 15 children have weekly sessions in Nursery and Reception with Year 1 and Year 2 taking part fortnightly. The hour sessions include a focussed activity, such as whittling wood, going on a bug hunt, singing around the campfire, collecting natural objects to create artwork or climbing fallen trees on the common. These are planned by a trained Forest School Leader (Level 3) and a first aider is present. We use our own forest school area and outdoor classroom but are so lucky to also have Tooting common on our doorstep and we use this space regularly to forage for natural materials, make dens in the wooded areas and play games etc. Outdoor activities are always be conducted with safety in mind and the activities are risk assessed as appropriate. Forest School uses equipment that is so important for children to know how to use safely. Before each activity there will be a ‘tool talk’ to discuss how to use the tool safely and the use of tools will always be modelled. Tools will only be introduced when the children are developmentally ready to use them.
Children should be dressed appropriately for the weather and will bring waterproof, warm clothing and welly boots to be left at school for these sessions. We like to get the children outside in most weathers to notice how the seasons and nature change over the year. We use the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing!”. However, in extreme weather conditions, activities will take place in the outdoor classroom.