Shine As An Outdoor Explorer
Welshampton Outdoor Explorers let their light shine brightly in Forest School
“The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky”
The Forest School approach puts the child at the centre of their own learning. It is the child who makes the decisions about which activities to participate in, how to approach and solve problems, what they need to reflect on, what their strengths are and what they want to learn next. All of this is achieved in our richest of classrooms – the outdoors.
Children are given room to have real life experiences. They are encouraged to think ‘outside of the box’; make mistakes; direct their own learning and take risks. All of these factors culminate in producing children who have increased confidence levels, developed independence, raised self-esteem, great communication skills, resilience and high levels of motivation.
Education should be all about experiences because that is when learning is optimised. Benjamin Franklin could not have phrased it better when he said:
“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn”
At Welshampton Church of England Primary School and Nursery we hope to encourage independent, enthusiastic and creative learners, who develop holistically. This is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and their capacity to investigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them.
We believe in a child’s right to play; the right to access the outdoors; the right to assess risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through challenges of social interaction, to build resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers
Children and young people are given encouragement to direct their own learning - this often requires catalysing on the part of the forest leader either through stimulating play in the outdoors or scaffolding, but mostly through simply observing how children are in the outdoors.
This approach is based more on the process of learning than it is on the content – more on the how than the what. This means that we step boldly out of the shadow and limitation of intensely structured activities and venture collaboratively into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and ultimately unlimited.