At Haberdashers' Slade Green we are firmly committed to the principles of Forest Schools, which form an important part of our curriculum in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, and is also included in our Physical Education curriculum in Key Stage Two. Forest School is a type of outdoor education in which our children learn personal, social and technical skills offering children many opportunities to achieve and develop confidence, build independence, teamwork, problem solving skills and self-esteem through hands-on learning. Children are given 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.
Forest School operates in all weathers and activities include a circle time at 'base camp', mud pie making, bug spotting, sand and water play, hide and seek and role play.
Activities are planned to tie in with the class’ current learning journey or to consolidate prior learning in different curriculum areas and build and extend knowledge and include:
LITERACY - Children develop key literacy skills, broaden their vocabulary, share ideas and use the area for drama.
SCIENCE - There is unlimited opportunity for observing, identifying, classifying, measuring and recording and performing simple tests and controlling variables. They research food chains, different habitats, different materials and their properties.
MATHS – Children measure sticks, trees, leaves, look at shapes in nature and collect data.
ART and DT – Children have the opportunities to cut wood and shape it safely using a range of tools. They can make dens and there are lots of opportunities for natural art (mud painting, collages) working with clay and mud, sculpture and weaving.
PSHE – Encourages working together in small teams, develops turn taking, building positive relationships with adults and peers, celebrating success and feeling valued.
MUSIC – Children listen and identify sounds, they make instruments and recreate animal and natural sounds.
GEOGRAPHY – Children research seasonal changes, comparing woodland and urban environments.