Forest School in Worcester
Here at RGSW, we are pleased to offer two Forest Schools in Worcester and one in Droitwich:
Supported by specialist and dedicated Forest School teachers, each of our Forest School areas provides the perfect open-air and natural environment that offers child-centred opportunities for holistic learning and development.
What is Forest School?
The Forest School Association defines Forest School as a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers children opportunities for holistic growth and development through regular sessions centred in a natural and outdoors setting.
Children aged two and above attend weekly sessions based on topic related activities that support play, exploration, and personal, social and technical skills. The safe and nurturing Forest School environment helps encourage and support children with problem-solving and supported risk-taking; encouraging the development of confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Forest Schools not only support children in further developing a wide range of skills but also teaches children the importance of the outdoors and nature and encourages them to build empathy with the natural world around them.
History of Forest School
Based on outdoor learning principles dating back to before the 19th century and influences from the open-air culture of Scandinavia, Forest School first arrived in the UK in 1993.
The 1988 introduction of the National Curriculum saw the UK education system move towards a more goal-orientated approach. As a result of this, more ‘alternative’ pedagogical approaches were introduced throughout the 1990s, including, Forest School.
Inspired by the outdoor, nature-based approach to learning of the Danish and Scandinavian early years education systems, in 1993 a group of nursery nurses from Bridgwater College in Somerset decided to start their own Forest School. Two years later the college began teaching a BTech in Forest School for early years educators all over the UK.
In 2000, as popularity continued to grow and Forest School started appearing all throughout the UK, local authorities began to turn towards this new way of learning. From there, Forest School has continued to develop and grow, providing pedagogical difference with proven effectiveness that is favoured by many early years professionals today.
Forest School Activities
The Forest School curriculum is based on providing children with a safe and inspirational outdoor environment in which they can discover, explore and learn through hands-on learning experiences supported by specialist Forest School teachers.
Forest School activities are largely learner-centred and responsive to each child’s needs and interests with significant emphasis on learner choice and learning through play. Forest School projects make use of natural resources whilst modelling and maintaining an environmentally sustainable attitude. Children are encouraged to take supported risks and engage in activities such as cutting and chopping wood, den making, transitional art, looking for signs of nature, woodwork and more.
Some of the main benefits of the Forest School include improved confidence, self-esteem, resilience and independence. The inspirational learning process of the Forest School supports children’s holistic wellbeing and social, cognitive, emotional and physical development.