Forest schools is an inclusive environment, it caters for every child’s needs. Our children’s education is something that we can all say is important to us and Forest schools gives this to children without them even realising they are learning.
Forest school allows children to learn and take controlled risks in a safe outdoor environment. It allows children to improve their personal and social skills through short achievable activities. It will activate their imagination and their self belief. This in itself creates a positive learning environment which allows increased self esteem, confidence and independence.
Forest Schools also develops a child’s self image in an environment where they can take small achievable steps which will greatly contribute to the child’s educational experience. If a child makes a mistake they are encouraged to try again, there confidence and self esteem will not be knocked. A child cannot and will not fail in a Forest school environment. Forest School at Mount Tamar is taught by Jody Stevens and Claire Ritchie who are all level 3 trained. We have our own Forest School area attached to the school grounds and we run Forest School sessions every day. We also take the pupils offsite to a range of different environments so they can gain a better understanding of their surroundings, learn how to identify species and their habitats and recognise the difference between them.
Within our Forest school sessions, the children complete challenges that are part of our in house forest school certification. During lower key stage two, the children work towards the Mount Tamar Learning outside the Classroom (MTLOTCC) Bronze award. Upper Key stage two work towards the Silver award with the Gold award being worked on during year 7 and 8. These challenges are completed either at our onsite forest school area or at various locations off site and can include counting the rings of a fallen tree, to making shelters and lighting and cooking on open fires.
The children also have opportunities to complete AQA unit awards. These can be tasks such as whittling wood with a knife and moorland walking. These AQA’s give the children opportunities to experience new things, improve their confidence and self-esteem as well as them feeling a sense of pride when they are awarded their certificates.