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Forest School

Freeman CP School are pleased to be able to offer Forest School to the children as part of our normal curriculum.  Forest School, which originated in Scandinavia in the 1950s, was introduced to the UK 25 years ago and has grown rapidly since then. It aims to be an inspirational process that offers children and others, regular opportunities to develop in a holistic way, developing self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy and social skills, through interaction in and with the natural environment in a local woodland experience. It covers all aspects of the curriculum and builds a sense of community and a connection to nature, but Forest School’s main principle is that it is child-led. Children are encouraged to explore, problem solve, build shelters, tie knots, use tools, light fires and be creative with natural resources.

Sessions take place in the woods running alongside and within the school field. At their first session the children choose their Forest School name which they then use at Forest School throughout their time at Freeman.  Mrs Kydd, ‘Dragonfly’, one of our Year 3 teachers, is a certified Forest School Leader who leads the sessions which take place throughout the year in all types of weather (a Forest School saying is, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”) with the assistance of 'Jackdaw', a Teaching Assistant and 'Willow', a Governor. 
The children learn about conservation at Forest School through activities which promote taking care of the flora and fauna that we already have in the woods and encouraging new wildlife.  The children have planted saplings and bulbs, made bird feeders,  bird boxes and a bug hotel, and created log piles to encourage hedgehogs and coppicing.  Some areas are also left wild to preserve insect habitats. 

Other activities have included learning how to light a fire, tie knots and whittle, outside crafts such as weaving willow, making dream-catchers and hapi-zome printing, picking fruit to make food and drinks the children can then sample such as nettle crisps, bramble tea,elderflower cordial and blackberry jam, playing games using nature stimulating all five senses, animal yoga and the usual climbing trees and rope fun.  The sessions end with a closing circle where the children express what they would like to do the following week followed by relaxation, medication and mindfulness.

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