In January 2019 we started our Forest School adventure with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) and our Forest School Leader Molly. We applied for funding from the LWT and were delighted to be chosen as one of only two schools in the Merseyside region to be successful in our bid. We will receive Forest School instruction from Molly for one year to provide us with invaluable guidance on this journey. In addition, three members of Bedford's staff are training to become Forest School leaders ensuring that the legacy of this essential form of learning will be an integral part of our school offering for our children.
The purpose of Forest School is for children to experience learning and playing in a natural setting across a range of seasonal conditions. We make good use of our amazing school grounds, field and woodland to facilitate Forest School. We also have a wonderful wooden seating area which was built by the LWT using locally sourced recycled wood.
The lessons are structured enough to challenge children and stimulate co-operation and flexible enough to allow for self-directed exploration. Numerous studies have shown that involvement in Forest School enhances children's performance in their classroom settings. Additionally, it accelerates development, particularly regarding teamwork, motor skills and the perception and management of risk.
An integral part of the Forest School experience is that children will be outdoors in all weathers, with the exception of very high winds and thunder storms. With this in mind, we would ask that your child comes to school wearing appropriate clothes on the day they are participating in Forest School, including:
- jogging bottoms/leggings
- trainers (definitely no open toed footwear)
- sun hat and sun cream on sunny days
- warm, layered clothing on colder days
- wellington boots on colder days
- waterproof jacket on colder days
As Forest School takes place outdoors and children we will be working with materials and resources that are sometimes messy, please make sure that your child wears clothing that is not new and lends itself to getting dirty.
Our Forest School sessions are led by Molly, who is a qualified Forest School Leader, supported by members of Bedford's teaching staff. During the sessions the children will, at an appropriate level, have opportunities to work with real hand tools and, under strict adult supervision, observe the building of small camp fires through the course of the Forest School work. Please be assured that your child's safety is our first priority and all the necessary adult to children ratios, risk assessments and other related safety checks have been undertaken.
The pictures illustrate how much our children are enjoying their Forest School sessions - providing them with an alternative, but equally valuable, form of learning.