Forest School – learning to take care of ourselves, each other, and the environment
An interest in building Emotional Intelligence is crucial to the Forest School approach, and means that all sessions will allow time for social interaction, including opportunities for teamwork, individual and group reviews and informal Play and socialising. Another core theme is increasing Environmental Awareness and knowledge, with obvious links to Sustainability and Global Citizenship.
Apart from this, Forest School sessions vary as much as the leaders, client groups and environments involved.
During the programme participants will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety and that of their peers. Fully qualified Forest School leaders help to facilitate the developing of coping strategies which in turn affect positive emotional and behavioural changes.
Forest School allows participants the time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical hands-on experiences. At the same time, it allows practitioners to step back and observe in order to encourage and inspire individuals to achieve through careful scaffolding and facilitating.
The Forest School approach focuses on the process of learning rather than the outcomes and of course, the longer a programme runs the more beneficial it will be. At least ten sessions may be considered necessary for initial projects. Schools are increasingly looking to provide year round provision for their pupils, with great benefits. Time allows for repetition, the development of confidence as well as the consolidation and transfer of skills.