Freelance Forest school
“No one will protect what they don’t care about;
and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”
~ Sir David Attenborough
All children come to this earth with their own soul journey. During this journey each child develops their own unique tools. It is therefore vital that they are given every chance to express their needs and desires, such that they follow their heart, their intuition and begin to express their inner purpose in life. This leads to a great sense of fulfilment, as well as a more balanced and peaceful life.
We are increasingly moving from result- consumer oriented learning in our current education system to a new scheme. A more holistic system in which every child is already seen as complete. Forest School contributes to this new development.
Forest School programs are focused on the Holistic development. To think of Social, Physical, Intelligent, Communication, Emotional and the Spiritual aspects. As well as learning about the natural environment and developing practical skills
Forest School is all about connecting children and young adults with their own true self and with the beautiful nature around us. Being outside in nature increases health, wellbeing, developmental growth and educational learning.
Sessions are provided to groups of children and young adults of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and abilities. The cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session with the following session. Each session is a steppingstone for the next one.
Forest School is a way of working in an outdoor environment, preferably but not exclusively in woodland settings. The idea of a woodland setting to learn is wilder and more elemental than the setting in which the children are usually cared for.
Forest School will work best when the same group of children are given the opportunity to visit the same woodlands on a regular basis. Activities take place in all types of weather (except for high winds and lightning storms).
Tools are used in Forest Schools in a traditional woodland manner and are introduced gradually with a structured safety base that children become familiar with. The use of tools in the wood promotes trust and self-confidence. It develops motor skills and fine motor skills. Trust between the participants and the Forest School teacher is crucial to the process of change and will take time to develop. A triangle of trust, respect and reliance supports emotional growth and development.
Exposure to risk
Through play children have the opportunity to learn with and about the natural environment. They learn how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others, forming communities. Without exposure to risk, children will not learn to keep themselves safe. Without opportunities to challenge themselves, children’s understanding of safety will not move forward. Children recognize that knowing about risks and how to manage them is an essential part of growing up. By providing the opportunities for children to manage their own risks in a controlled environment, they will learn vital life skills needed for adulthood. They gain the experience needed to face the unpredictable nature of the world.
Encouraging children to enjoy challenges rather than to shy away from them could also increase their persistence and learning abilities (Dweck, 2000).
Child-led learning (Montessori approach)
Long term program of regular sessions
Mixed-age groups, peer learning
Respect of each child’s uniqueness, curiosity, learning at their own pace
Building confidence and self-esteem
Allows every child to have a voice, especially those who find it difficult to
communicate in a more conventional earning environment.
Educational learning & practical life skills
Holistic development and growth
Supporting health, mental and emotional wellbeing
- Max. 6 hours per session
- Accessible for people with special needs
- Up to 15 participants
- Parents are welcome to participate!
- Qualified, experienced Forest School teacher
Sessions should provide opportunities to develop self awareness, social and communication skills and emotional intelligence. These, through self-awareness can be developed to reach our personal potential and to be part of a community which can define and develop itself. All sessions are designed around the needs of the individual and of the group, ensuring that they are learner-led. Each session is designed around a theme. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless.
Please feel free to contact me for more information. Talking about the possibilities for your school and organisation!
My Forest school experience
During my experience, working in a forest school in the UK, I’ve had the privilege to watch how regular forest school sessions helped selective mute learners find their voice, troubled learners find a more stable path and how a child who usually has difficulty making contact with others, proudly smiled whilst climbing tree trunks.
During my official observations I started to notice a girl in the group who was speaking very softly and found it difficult to stand up for herself, suddenly start to speak more clearly. It was beautiful witnessing her taking more risks in her play and starting to cooperate and communicating with other children.
Such privileged moments are making my teachers heart smile! Children are using hand tools they thought they shouldn’t be allowed to hold.
This is the real power of Forest School!
Children are great teachers. They show us very easily how to live in the moment and how playfulness, imagination and being creative are parts of our lives.