Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.
The Forest School approach has been successful with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and through play, have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. Through Forest School learning, children will develop: self-awareness; self-regulation; empathy; good social communication skills; independence; a positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence. Many of the strengths and qualities we teach as a Building Learning Power school.
Mrs Todhunter (Forest School Leader) and Mrs Galea (Forest School HLTA) will be taking groups of children to the Forest School site at Beck Wythop every Friday. All children in Years 1, 3 and 5 will have approximately 6 sessions (morning or afternoon).
Fairfield Primary School is committed to Forest School and outdoor learning.
Why Forest School and why Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) is important to Fairfield?
Learning outside the classroom is about raising achievement and allowing the most fulsome personal development possible for all the pupils and students involved. It is an approach which uses the pupils' and students’ experience in new environments as a stimulus so that they learn about themselves and the world around them more effectively and faster than ever before.
It is thus about helping young people learn everything - from facts about the world in which they live, to facts about themselves, their responses, their interests and what drives them on.
Above all it is about helping all pupils and students make the most of their attributes, their lives, and their experiences so that ultimately they can lead lives which are varied, fruitful, and fulfilling for themselves, and which make a contribution to the society in which they live.
In this regard Learning Outside the Classroom is about raising achievement and raising the individual’s awareness of the self through an approach to learning based around direct experience.
Thus it is about what we learn, how and where we learn, and who we are.
Academic Year 2022 - 2023
We are really looking forward to starting our Forest School curriculum, with the Year 3 children. Due to the bad storms of Winter 2021/22 the site at Setmurthy Forest was demolished. We have found another new and amazing area to set up our Forest School site. We are now in the forest at Beck Wythop overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake. We will post regular updates, to show you all the fantastic work the children have been doing in the outdoors!
Year 3 Autumn Term 2022 - The Stone Age
This year at Forest School, the Year 3 children have linked their History topic of 'The Stone Age', to their outdoor work. Each week the children have pretended to be a person from the Stone Age and completed activities the Stone Age people would have undertaken.
The activities included:
Shelter building like the people in Mesolithic times.
Wind Chimes, to warn off any animals and to keep the camp safe
Hunter / gatherer walk, to look for evidence of animals (which the Stone Age people used for food / clothing / shelter / utensils Etc.) and different berries, seeds Etc. for eating.
Whittling tent pegs, for securing the animal skin (shelter) to the ground.
Fire Making, as this was important in the Stone Age to cook, keep warm and to warn off any dangerous animals from the camp.
Below is a selection of photographs, of each activity the children completed on the different weeks in the forest.
Hunter / Gatherer Walk
Whittling Tent Pegs
Year 5 Spring Term 2023 - Mapping Skills
In the Spring Term, the Year 5 Geography topic is 'Mapping Skills'. We decided this would be a fantastic unit for the children to focus on in the forest environment. The children learnt how to read a map, using 4 and 6-figured grid references, understand the environment around them, looking for different landmarks to identify where they were, as well as planning a 3K route around the forest to walk. All of the children showed excellent mapping skills, great team work and they all completed the walk successfully!