Wildwood Adventures has more than 8 years of experience of working with schools in and around Bristol providing an outdoor classroom where children are learning all the time.
Sessions offer an holistic way approach to learning and take place all year round. We create a safe and nurturing space for children to connect with nature, build resilience and to develop their ideas following the Forest School ethos.
Forest School activities reflect the seasons, age and stage of development of the children involved, natural resources of the site and most importantly the interests of the children . Discussion with the class teachers before and during the programme is encouraged and Forest School leaders will observe the direction of play and reflect this in their ongoing planning. The sessions are reviewed every week by the Forest School leader. A class report is collated at the end of each programme and provided to the school.
Through a huge range of activities such as stories and rhymes, building projects, cooking on an open fire, seasonal arts and crafts, ID and trails, obstacle courses, Forest School aims to be accessible to all children. The holistic nature of Forest School where children are moving, asking questions, gauging risk and problem solving whilst building the den, crossing the crocodile filled lake, whittling a stick, enacting a story, handling mud, lying under leaves or just having fun benefit children in a huge variety of ways.
Education is not the filling of a pail but is the lighting of a fire – William Butler Yeats
When and Where:
- Forest School is offered during the school day.
- Ideally sessions will be at least two hours long, once a week for 10-12 weeks minimum.
- They can take place on your school site (consultation provided), in a local woodland or nearby park depending on your needs.Woodlands offer a great environment providing natural resources but the benefits of Forest School in more limited surroundings of a school playground are clearly shown in the report from Whitehall Primary School where Wildwood Adventures worked with all classes over 2 years.Conclusion of MA findings from study of Forest School undertaken at Whitehall School
- Sessions take place year-round, whatever the weather (except during extremely high winds-Met office red warning).
When we are not pushing a learning-agenda curiosity comes to the forefront and guides the learning process.’ Coyote’s Guide to connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, Evan McGown.
The sessions structure involves:
- Welcome song/warm up game where children introduce themselves.
- Nature Trail or hunt/ find the gnome/litter pick/an observation of the site
- Main Activity This will be appropriate to the season such as leaf mobiles, nature art, fungi hunt in Autumn or develop key fine motor skills such as sawing badges and whittling, poking elder or be focused on immersing the child in nature such as, tree gazing, sit spots, making forest spirits, or story-telling. Children may choose to adapt to adapt the activity or come to it later.
For example, discussing explorers recently with a Year 2 group we brainstormed explorers, imagined our forest school space as a new land where the plants and animals were waiting to be discovered. The group set to work building a boat with the loose play wood and another group set off to the potion kitchen to cook with the newly discovered plants.
The plan was to move onto drawing maps and poetry but the children’s play led us to developing the boat further and making lip balm from the plantain on the site and natural dyes. Maps came the following week when a child picked up some charcoal saved from the previous week’s fire and started to draw. Having a flexible approach and allowing the children to direct the sessions is key to the Forest School ethos.
- Fire and snack (not every session) Clear safety rules apply. Children make their own bread, flapjacks or have simple snacks cooked over the fire.
- Review and Goodbye Song
Cost: Half day and Full day sessions available. Please call to discuss costs which will vary depending on location, equipment requirements and length of programme.