What is a Forest School?
Independent schools are always searching for a way to improve their standards of education and looking at new methods to inspire pupils and teaching staff. With the recent popularity of outdoor learning, here at King’s School we wanted to take advantage of our very fortunate location and we provide a Forest School for our pupils as well as the occasional trip to the beach for Beach School.
Benefits of outdoor learning
There are numerous benefits to taking lessons outside of the classroom whilst in the early years of education. Developing a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the environment in which they live, is not only invaluable to the children of today, but also for future generations. The earlier that responsibility is taken for the environment, the greater the preservation for our planet will thrive.
Children also benefit from being allowed to take measured risks, learning about safety and assessing situations before making a decision. In Forest School children are taught about fire making and shelter building, at Beach School they learn about rock pools, tidal zones and caring for the environment.
A big part of our outside educational programme is teamwork, we encourage our pupils to work together in the tasks that we set them, this is great for social development and promoting cooperation.
What do children learn at Forest School?
Lessons go ahead whatever the weather! This is a Danish concept which encourages children to develop a real appreciation and understanding for their natural environment.
Children get the opportunity to attend Forest school once a week, where they spend time with a specialist teacher where they learn about tool safety and use, den building and survival skills, natural artworks, knowledge of flora and fauna, biodiversity studies and use fire for cooking.
These are just some of the lessons that we have held at Forest School and each is designed not only educate the child in an academic sense but also in a physical way and to encourage social development.
What do children do at Beach School?
At King’s School, we take the children to the nearby Wembury Beach. It is here that we run sessions to encourage the children to feel happy, relaxed and excited by being in the open air. We have recently run sessions where children are asked to build shelters, encouraging teamwork. We have also organised a mini raft race. As well as the fun physical tasks like rock pooling where children learn about the creatures in this environment, lessons are also taught about tidal zones.