Forest School

Forest school was introduced to the school for the academic year 2014/15, with a view to providing an outdoor education environment for those who may struggle to access the curriculum in more formal ways. The programme covers all key stages within the school, and the curriculum has developed into an effective part of the school's education and therapy ethos.

The forest school programme has been developed to incorporate a number of curriculum links. In most activities these links are 'hidden' as this approach can help to relieve any formal curriculum anxieties. Undertaking the forest school programme can also help learners' to develop a better understanding of their core subjects by providing activities that are functional e.g. if a learner is struggling with an element of maths such as measure, shape & space, they can improve their functional comprehension of this when designing & building A frame, and lean to shelters.

 Shelter building

Shelter building

The Aim of Forest School

The aim of forest school is to deliver education in an outdoor environment, with a view to providing activities that are inclusive to all participants.

 Let there be fire!

Let there be fire!

Key objectives

  • To provide access to the formal academic curriculum through 'hidden/informal' activities.
  • To provide a safe, positive and enjoyable learning environment.
  • To develop each participant's self-esteem.
  • To develop key skills such as communication, working with others and problem solving.
  • To improve team cohesion, and develop risk assessing skills.

 Tea break

Tea break

activities

  • There are many activities that can be conducted in forest school sessions. Here are a few.
  • Making a hot drink using a Kelly Kettle.
  • Fire safety, building, lighting & extinguishing.
  • Making resources such as tent pegs.
  • Erecting shelters - using tarpaulins.
  • Building natural shelters.
  • Making tools such as mallets & small axes.
 

Links to the curriculum

English

Developing forest school diaries, which require descriptions and evaluations.

Maths

Measuring wood to build a shelter. Calculating the space required to accommodate a specific number.

Geography

Assessing the weather and preparing appropriately for each session.

 Forest Schools Diary

Forest Schools Diary

 Indoor Training

Indoor Training

History

Learning about the different trees within the forest and knowing the history of specific growth such as elder.

ICT

Using ICT to create a diary including pictures and instruction manuals.

CDT

Building items such as tools and shelters.

Science

Understanding the fire triangle and using flint, steel & magnesium to start a fire.

 
 

The team

 Forest School Diary

Steve Nolan - Forest school coordinator & lead instructor

Due to Steve's military background and his love of the outdoors, it was deemed appropriate for him to become our Forest school instructor. As coordinator he is responsible for the planning, preparing, delivering and reviewing of all activities. Steve also provides training to other members of staff who support forest school sessions. 


Duke of Edinburgh

 Proud of the boys' achievements!

Proud of the boys' achievements!

 Brendan fitting a tyre

Brendan fitting a tyre

We are delighted to report that the Duke of Edinburgh’s bronze award currently running at our school has been very successful. All six Year 11 boys have shown total commitment and determination to complete their individual tasks.

During last year, we applied to become a Local Operating body to deliver ‘The DofE Award’. We then formed a school DofE committee and selected five Year 11 pupils who we believed had the ability and determination to succeed in a bronze award. All five boys have completed their expedition phase and have also completed a few individual tasks. The boys were presented their Bronze DofE award at Sports day!

 Kayaking at the local resevoir

Kayaking at the local resevoir

 Oliver playing piano

Oliver playing piano

Each pupil was required to select three activities within the physical, skills and voluntary sections and had to do these activities consistently for 1-hour per week over 3-months, one of which had to be 6-months (not an easy requirement!). Tyler, chose running, brick laying and volunteered at Oxfam in Stamford. Brendan chose kayaking, car mechanics and volunteered at the Ashwell canal. Oliver chose American football, piano playing and volunteered at Equata horse therapy centre. Luke chose kayaking, bricklaying and volunteered at Age UK. Scott chose gym work, woodwork and volunteered at the Ashwell canal.

The boys have shown tremendous effort, resilience and commitment to do the tasks to the end. It has now been easy! The school staff and parents are extremely proud of them. We also look forward to seeing the younger pupils recognising this achievement and putting themselves forward to complete a very worthwhile and world-wide recognised qualification.

A massive well done to all our 2016 boys, a wonderful achievement!