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February 7th 2024

The Unseen Benefits of Forest School

Children in our EYFS have the opportunity each week to visit Forest School, a hidden patch of land nestled behind the gym. Forest School is a supportive environment which allows children to safely test themselves, to understand their fears, develop new skills, and make discoveries. Since the activities are child-led there is a greater motivation to participate, take ownership of the learning and have a go.  

Forest School is natural place to promote collaborative working, to share equipment, take turns and play together. At Forest School, children are not constrained by the rules of ‘indoors’ and can collectively achieve by working together to make a shelter, gather firewood or forage for different coloured leaves. It helps to develop empathy and an understanding of their own capabilities as well as those of their peers; and to understand that some things may be more challenging for them than for others.  

Forest School can develop practical skills that support the learning in the classroom such as: developing gross motor skills through digging and climbing, improving balance from walking on uneven ground and supporting language skills with new vocabulary, developing to/from conversation skills and organisation of thought.  

This term, Blackheath High Forest School pupils have looked for ice, built ‘campfires’ and toasted marshmallows, painted with our muddy footprints and made clay models. As the weather warms, the children can start looking for signs of spring and we are even going to build a pond!  

Written by Mrs Sally Brown, Reception teacher

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