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Forest School and Outdoor Learning

 

Welcome to St Thomas a Becket Forest School and Outdoor Learning page.

At St Thomas a Becket we are very fortunate to have a large Forest School site as well as an additional Nature Area which is part of the ongoing outdoor provision in Foundation Stage. The Nature Area is also used by Key Stage 1 to develop their understanding and knowledge of the curriculum by exploring different experiences in the natural environment.

 

What is Forest School?

Forest School is based on a desire to use the outdoors to facilitate learning in a calm, active and purposeful atmosphere.

Through good outdoor play all children can benefit as it stimulates the senses and allows for children to respond and act / behave in an individual way.  Forest School is a holistic experience for all.

Forest School has been running in other areas of this country for several years.  Greenwich is the first London Borough to initiate the scheme. The ethos of Forest School is based on child-led work and the emphasis is on observing and developing children’s skills through their own learning styles.

Children learn the importance of boundaries and trust which encourages independence and respect.  This raises self-esteem and promotes confidence.

In this type of outdoor environment, it is known that communication develops and cooperation and working / playing with others improves in fun and relaxed surroundings.  This makes for happy, healthy and resilient children!

 

Health and Safety

Risk assessments have been carried out for the area in consultation with the Health and Safety Officer (Premises Manager of the school).  A Health and Safety handbook will be taken to Forest School, each week, with medical records and contact details for everyone taking part.

The Health and Safety handbook also contains information on emergency procedures.  The Forest School Leader will make a safety sweep of the Forest School area before taking the children each week.

The Forest School Leader has attended and passed intensive training regarding tool use.