Forest School is an integral and important part of learning at Bedford Primary.
We started our Forest School adventure in 2019 when we received funding from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust which provided us with invaluable instruction in forest school learning, the building of a forest school area and training for three members of Bedford's staff to become Forest School leaders. This training has ensured that the legacy of this essential form of learning will continue to be an key 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 using locally sourced recycled wood and our newly-built log cabin to provide us with some cover when we need it!
The forest school 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 our fully trained Forest School Leaders, supported by members of Bedford's 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.