‘Forest Schools is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.’
The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive experiences and participation in engaging and motivating achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment, helping to develop personal, social and emotional skills:
- Communication skills
- Raised self-esteem
Forest Schools has demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local wild space, bush land or wood land on a regular basis and through play, learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. Programmes run throughout the year going to the woods in all weathers (except for high winds). Children use full sized tools, play, and participate in a variety of learning opportunities, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation. Forest School, through its application of up to date education and learning techniques and application neuroscience creates a unique learning vehicle, which is used to encourage a range of individuals, community groups and larger organisations to utilise their local open space for interactive play, health, recreation and personal development uses. Children need time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This develops understanding of the world, the environment and everything within it through use of their emotions, imagination and senses. Reflective practice is an essential process developed and used throughout all sessions to ensure transference of learning potential.
History of Forest Schools
Originally a concept developed in Denmark for Forest school children (under seven years). Children attending Forest Schools were arriving at school with strong social skills, the ability to work in groups effectively, and generally children had high self-esteem and confidence in their own capabilities. All these attributes proved to be an effective foundation that raised academic achievements. This ethos was introduced to the UK during the 1990’s and has been taken on as an effective educational tool in a variety of settings. Today, learners travel from all over the world to become Archimedes Forest Schools practitioners and Archimedes are now running courses internationally with recent success in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. Since its introduction in the UK Forest Schools has developed opportunities in an outdoor setting for children and adults of all ages to develop a variety of life skills; independence, self-discovery and communication, all of which assist individuals to grow in self-esteem and confidence. Participants gain confidence in their own ability. © Forest Schools Education Reproduction is not permissible without written permission to the Authors. Kinaesthetic learners [learning by doing] are particularly suited to learning in this woodland outdoor environment.