Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment.
At Forest School all participants are viewed as:
- equal, unique and valuable
- competent to explore & discover
- entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
- entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
- entitled to experience regular success
- entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
- entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world
Wildwood Days aims to provide people of all ages the opportunity to grow and develop as nature intended; at their own pace, directed by their own interests and outside in the changing seasons. We feel the breadth of learning and developmental opportunities and possibilities are endless outside and the environment naturally encourages calm and concentration. We work to provide a welcoming, caring environment which supports our visitors’ needs.
At Wildwood Days this ethos is evident in the following principles:
Continuity: Part of our site is used as a base camp and includes several features which act as an introduction to Forest School. There is a simple mud kitchen, a den, a fairy tree and garden and a mini fairy village, a mud pit (with bucket of trowels, forks and watering cans), muddy slopes, tunnel, weaving wall, dinosaur hill, pulley bucket, rope swing, sand pit and logs and stumps to sit and balance on. These facilities are introduced gradually and explored through starter activities, then revisited as determined by the learners. This continuity helps to support learners in settling into their environment and to the rhythm of the sessions.
Right to Return: Wherever possible, our sessions include plenty of time for free play – giving learners the opportunity to return to a particular activity or resource that they have enjoyed. We aim to give learners as much time as they need to finish their learning in a particular area.
Challenge and Differentiation: All sessions at Wildwood Days are planned to encourage engagement and enjoyment for a range of abilities and ages. Choice over details, opportunity to either keep it simple or complete a more complex outcome, a range of different learning types and needs are considered and activities are planned with an awareness of learning schemas, developmental stages, EYFS and Curriculum Key Stages.
Tool Use, Fire and Risk Taking: Through the use of carefully thought out health and safety procedures we work to prepare participants of all ages to enjoy the benefits of supported risk taking. We facilitate the development of self esteem and confidence through providing opportunities to challenge, learn risk management skills and experience something new and exciting that is linked very closely to the natural world around us.
Reflective Practitioners: After each session we reflect on how we can improve and what our visitors may need in future sessions.