At Copmanthorpe Primary School, we have been running 'Forest Schools' sessions for the past few years. Forest Schools offer a unique educational experience using the outdoor environment of the forest as a classroom. We began with the children in the Foundation Stage but as they grew up and moved into Year 1, we continued these weekly lessons. This continued, and we now currently teaching Forest Schools from Foundation Stage upto the Year 3 children.
Research has shown that Forest Schools sessions encourage:
- Confidence: children had the freedom, time and space to learn and demonstrate independence
- Social skills: children gained increased awareness of the consequences of their actions on peers through team activities such as sharing tools and participating in play
- Communication: language development was prompted by the children’s sensory experiences
- Motivation: the woodland tended to fascinate the children and they developed a keenness to participate and the ability to concentrate over longer periods of time
- Physical skills: these improvements were characterised by the development of physical stamina and gross and fine motor skills
- Knowledge and understanding: the children developed an interest in the natural surroundings and respect for the environment