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Woodland School

Woodland Schools

Intent

Woodland School learning forms an important component of our outdoor curriculum here at Busbridge Infant school. Our Woodland School sessions are a wonderful blend of Forest School Approach and environmental education.  The sessions also provide many opportunities for first hand cross-curricular learning, with many links to Science in particular. Woodland school sessions are carried out with a high adult to child ratio in a safe and secure, beautiful wild area comprising of a large pond, wildflower area, fire circle, den building area, bug hunting zone and mud kitchen.

Aims

  • To inspire and be enjoyed
  • To provide regular opportunities to learn in a natural and ever-changing environment
  • To enable learning through a child centred approach
  • To provide the freedom for learning through play, so important for early years development
  • To learn outdoor skills such as knot tying, fire craft and handling tools safely
  • To develop physical skills such as balancing, lifting as well as fine motor skills
  • To be familiar with species that children come across in their natural world
  • To learn to appreciate and care for their natural world
  • To encounter risk, manage risk and develop problem-solving skills
  • To develop a sense of personal achievement, confidence, respect, trust, collaboration, resilience and creativity
  • To learn in a holistic way, developing real world links to the national curriculum

Implementation:

All children at Busbridge Infant School attend regular Woodland School sessions throughout the school year. There will be times when the children learn about the natural world through adult-led activities such as nature walks, species identification, pond dipping and surveys of plants and animals. However, the majority of the time spent in Woodland School will follow the Forest School Approach. In line with this approach, sessions will be planned for in the early stages then the children’s interests and personal development, along with seasonal milestones will guide how sessions progress over the year. Woodland school sessions allow the children to choose how and when they partake in learning a new skill or craft or whether they want to develop their own learning through play. By placing importance on observation of learners and high adult ratios, individual learning styles are identified which helps to enable children to learn in a way that suits them and in a holistic manner. The high adult ratio also enables the use of various real tools and also of fire, providing children with opportunities to assess risk and make informed, self-calculated choices.

Impact:

Child says, “We are going to my favourite place, woodland school” 

Adult asks, "Why is it your favourite place? 

Child replies, “I like making things with sticks...only if they are less than my arm...and I like playing in the mud kitchen because we don't have one in our class, and you get to go in a den!"