At Cold Harbour we believe that spending time outdoors and learning about nature is an important part of our children’s development. Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop self-awareness, problem solving skills, social and communication skills, independence, a positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education. All sessions are led by our qualified Forest School Leader Mel Ward and our qualified Forest School Assistant Traci Holmes.
Forest School is a child-led experience, where children take responsibility and lead their own learning. They are free to explore our woodland and carry out activities at their own pace without the pressure to achieve an agreed ‘objective’. Our activities include; den building, bug hunting, scavenger hunts, tree climbing, bird feeder making, natural art, tree identification and cooking over an open fire.
We are incredibly lucky to have a wonderful woodland area within our school grounds which is safe and secure for the children to independently explore. Since we began our Forest School in January 2017 we have been fortunate enough to receive funding from the Friends of Cold Harbour (our parent/staff fundraising group), Rotary Club and the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. We have used this money to develop our outdoor area to further enrich the learning experience of our children. An important purchase has been a permanent wooden shelter which provides much needed protection from the unpredictable British weather. We are very proud that our Forest School has been awarded the gold Green Tree School Award by the Woodland Trust and are currently working our way towards platinum.
Children are currently given the opportunity to participate in our sessions during Years 1,3,4 and 5. Sadly we cannot currently offer this opportunity to all our children each year due to other commitments in school. However this is something we will hope to rectify in the future so that ALL our children will have the chance to take part in Forest School during each of their years with us.
We require parental/carer permission before children take part in our Forest School due to the nature of the activities taking place. Letters are sent home at least two weeks prior to sessions taking place. Children spend one afternoon outside for six consecutive weeks. We are outside regardless of the weather conditions therefore children will need to bring a suitable change of clothes. All clothing needs to be named and brought to school in a named carrier bag each week. We recommend that old clothing is used as we do not intend to stay clean during our sessions especially if it is wet outside!
What to wear for Forest School
- Wellingtons or sturdy walking shoes/boots
- Long trousers (e.g tracksuit bottoms or leggings) – no jeans please as they become very heavy and cold when wet
- Long sleeved t-shirt or shirt
- Jumper, fleece or sweatshirt
- Waterproof jacket – essential even in summer months
- Waterproof trousers (optional)
- Water bottle
- Sun hat (summer months)
- Warm hat, gloves and scarf (winter months)
- Extra pair of socks (winter months)
If you have any questions regarding our Forest School then please feel free to contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org