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Forest Schools

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 The autumn term has been a extremely busy one. We have enjoyed Forest School sessions with Reception Class children, year three Children's University club and a parent child session.

Some of the children in Reception have already enjoy sessions to promote writing outdoors, team work and perseverance

Children's university saw children take part in sessions including, outdoor art, using tools safely and fire lighting.

A big thank you to all the parents that attended the parents/ child Forest school session. It was a great sucsess with both adults and children learning how to light and use fire and tools safely.  The family groups worked well together to create and build arange of structures from bird tables, photo frames and stools. To add to our session, we also thought about how we used maths, throughout the session, without us actually realising, and the list was quite long- well done.

As many of you are aware, St. Christopher’s has been offering and developing Forest School sessions to support children’s learning, over the past few years. Forest school is the name for an approach to educating children in an outdoor environment. Work will support many aspects of the Early Years Curriculum (EYFS) and will have a strong emphasis on raising all children’s self-esteem and independence.

An integrated part of the Forest School experience is that children will experience the outdoors in all weathers (except high winds and thunder storms). To help achieve this school will provide water proof coats and trousers. We ask you to supply either wellies or boots and on sunny days a sun hat and please apply sun cream, prior to coming to school. Children should still wear their school uniform, with layers added on cold days. Please bear in mind your child is likely to get muddy.

During Forest School the children will be given the opportunity to use tools and light fires. As a parent, I know this sounds alarming but please be reassured that Forest school both at St. Christopher’s and nationally have an excellent safety record thanks to the robust procedures that are required to be in place.

Firstly, every session may only be ran by a qualified Forest school leader- in our school this is Mrs Baxter.

Secondly, Forest School can only be run with better than usual staff- child ratios. We require a minimum of 1-5 and usually work on a ratio of 1-3.meaning when the children use tools or have a lit fire activities are well supervised.

Sometime during your child’s year in Reception they will be given the opportunity to attend 3 Forest School sessions. These sessions take place at Speke Hall woodlands. The children are transported to and from school via our school mini bus and spend the morning (approximately 9.30-11.30) in the woodland.

Consent forms will be sent out closer to the time of your child’s sessions.

If you have any questions about Forest School, I am, of course, very happy to chat to you and answer any questions.

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Baxter  

Assistant Headteacher

Year 6 Forest School. Summer 2016

  Last year we saw a range of Forset School sessions contributing to the children's learning and development. This included, Forest school sessions at Speke Hall for all Reception and year 6 children, after school club, in the school garden, with year 1 and parent and child sessions.Cthildren in the nursery also teamed up with the Five Centre to experience Forest School.We hope the sucess and enjoyment of Forest School continues into 2016/17 with further parent/ child sessions, year 3 after school club  and weekly activities for Reception aged children already being planned.

    OCTOBER 2015   

After the success of the Dad and Lad session, this term we ran a forest school session for female family members. The females at Forest School session invited mums and other female relatives to participate in a fun forest school session with their daughters.

    We started the session with the story of Sleeping Beauty. Then after perseverance, encouragement and determination the fire was lit, so we could all enjoy a hot drink and toasted marshmallows.                

   We used natural materials to make fairies like the ones in the story.

  The session ended with family members sharing a book together.

Last Monday afternoon (27.4.15) saw the first of our very popular forest school Dad and Lad sessions take place in the school garden. The session was a very enjoyed experience, with children and their grown ups taking part in story telling, Stick Man building and fire lighting.  Along with sharing marshmallows and hot chocolate around the fire.
 A big thank you for all who attended to make the session successful. Another is planned for after half term
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The children from year 5, who have recently completed their Forest School sessions invited other children from their year group to share their knowledge and skills with at Speke Hall. The children taught their peers how to safe safe, light fires, use tools and most importantly work as a team. 
A very successful taster session for other practitioners, including teachers, nursery nurses and lectures took part at St Christopher's on Monday 30th March 2015. The session ran by Mrs Baxter, informed participants about the impact and benefits of Forest School, risk benefits and assessment and how to go about setting up a Forest school. The group participated in a range of practical activities, which they not only found enjoyable but also gave them an insight into using tools and fire safely with young children.
January 2015 This month eight year five children started Forest School. The first session took place in the school garden and introduced them to the concept of Forest School and fire lighting.  These sessions will continue to take place each Monday afternoon. The children will have the opportunity to develop further skills including, using tools, making models and teaching others. They will also be using their experiences to develop their writing skills.

A big thank you to all who attended the forest school parent taster session. It was a very enjoyable session with participants coming away with a clear understanding of forest school, why it is done and some of the activities the children participate in.

Another session is being planned for the spring term.

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