Forest School area at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

Forest School

Primary school children in the forest

What is Woodland Learning?

"An inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in local woodland"
O’Brian

Here at St. Mary’s, your child will have the opportunity to attend regular sessions in our Forest School over an extended period of time. These sessions will enable your child to have hands on experiences in a natural and stimulating environment, here on site in our lovely Forest School. Many important skills will be developed through play and exploration including problem solving and co-operation with others. Learners will always be encouraged to use their own initiative and will gain confidence and experience how to handle risks.

In the Spring term of 2017, learners across the school will be accessing our Forest School and will partake in a unit of work over an extended period of time. We will be working in all types of weather outdoors (except of course for extreme weather conditions, e.g. high winds, ice and torrential rain). A timetable will be established in the New Year and Year Groups will be informed of their sessions in the Forest School.

Children will learn how to use tools safely, consolidate learning linked to topics and the Literacy and Numeracy Framework. Other areas of learning will include learning about their own boundaries of behaviour, both physical and social, helping them to establish and grow in confidence, self esteem and become self motivated and inspired to steer their learning forward.

School girl with forest arts & crafts

What will my child need?

It is very important that your child gets the most out of and thoroughly enjoys each Forest School session and in order for them to be comfortable and cosy, it is essential that their clothing is suitable.

We ask that your child comes to school, on their Forest School session, equipped with appropriate footwear and clothing; please see the list below:

  • Old jogging bottoms/tracksuit bottoms
  • One or two warm layers to wear over their school shirt and jumper e.g. a fleece or hoodie
  • A waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers
  • Hat, scarf, gloves
  • Wellies and thick socks
  • Spare socks
  • A spare plastic carrier bag for wet/muddy clothes

Please send a coat that is different to your child’s school coat (the older the better!) because the children are likely to get wet, muddy and very grubby.

Updates and photographs will appear on this website displaying some of the wonderful fulfilling activities learned outdoors in St. Mary’s Forest School. Here at St. Mary’s, we feel that the following quote encapsulates our vision for Forest School learning:

"Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and the flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of real education."
David Polis