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Becket Primary School

Forest School

Curriculum Intent

At Becket Primary School we recognise the need to provide broad and high quality education, all aspects of which can be supported in the Forest School environment.

Opportunities are provided for all pupils in FS2 and KS1 to engage in a wide variety of outdoor activities to develop a range of skills including scientific exploration, communication (both verbal and written) and decision making. Through child-led exploration the pupils develop their abilities to manage their own risks, developing resilience through scaffolded tasks and open ended activities.

All children are expected to participate in Forest School with the aim that they develop a respect for their environment and acquire greater knowledge of their impact upon it. Through regular visits to local woodland they can experience the outdoors beyond their school environment and develop a respect and love of nature.

Through a consistent transition programme of study in FS2 and KS1, pupils develop a set of skills and attitudes which will equip them for their move into KS2 and their future lives.

Implementation

Forest School has been introduced at Becket to enhance the curriculum and falls into all of the areas of study. Discussion takes place with the FS2, Y1 and Y2 teachers to link Forest School activities with any topics and subjects that the children are learning at that time.

The sessions are based on the Forest School ethos that learning should be child-led. The pupils can explore different ways of achieving tasks and scaffolding is given by the Forest School leader to achieve this.

In Y1 and Y2 half of the class will take part in Forest School sessions each half term for one afternoon each week from September through to July. The FS2 class begin their Forest School experience after the October half term and then will take part in the same way as the KS1 children. The KS1 children will also visit local woodland once every half term.

Children taking part in Forest School sessions are expected to behave to the same high standard as they would in the classroom. They are expected to listen to the Forest School leader and show them and their classmates respect. Forest School rules are discussed at the beginning of the sessions and recapped in each session. The children understand that they respect their environment and the creatures in it.

We will use natural resources that are available at the time of the session or they will be provided by the Forest School leader. Part of Forest School ideology is appreciating the changes in the seasons and what happens within those seasons so resources are usually provided by nature itself.

At the beginning of each year for each child a well-being assessment is performed through observation of each child. A subsequent assessment is carried out at the end of the year for each child and the two assessments are then compared. Science objectives are recorded on the science assessment grids.

Impact

Through Forest School at Becket Primary School, pupils have the opportunity to learn a range of skills within their FS2 and KS1 sessions:

Confidence: children have the freedom, time and space to learn and demonstrate independence.

Social skills: children gain increased awareness of the consequences of their actions on peers through team activities such as sharing, group work and participating in games.

Communication: language development is prompted by the children’s new experiences, curiosity practical learning.

Motivation: the outdoor, natural environment interests the children and they develop a keenness to participate and the ability to concentrate over longer periods of time

Physical skills: these improvements are characterised by the development of physical stamina and gross and fine motor skills.

Knowledge and understanding: the children develop an interest in the natural surroundings and respect for the environment.