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The Best Kind of Classroom by Ian MacMillan This is the best kind of classroom: No walls, just sky and trees. This is the best kind of classroom: No radiators,

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Presentation on theme: "The Best Kind of Classroom by Ian MacMillan This is the best kind of classroom: No walls, just sky and trees. This is the best kind of classroom: No radiators,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Best Kind of Classroom by Ian MacMillan This is the best kind of classroom: No walls, just sky and trees. This is the best kind of classroom: No radiators, just a gentle breeze. You can learn well here, As the birds sing, About your place, in the scheme of things. You can make up poems, about woodland flowers, Why its almost as interesting as the Literacy Hour! This is the best kind of classroom, Its a journey through time and space, From the smallest seed to the largest tree, This is a forest and a learning place. This is the best kind of classroom, Where the seasons dont happen in books, Where the learning is watching and thinking and talking, And everyone notices, everyone looks.

2 The Oaks CE Learning Federation: Copythorne Common Forest School Project Jim Day Education Officer

3 What is Forest School? Forest School is a system of learning in an outdoor classroom – usually a woodland – through a range of practical skills and achievable tasks which build confidence, self-esteem and independence. Weekly sessions with the same group of children take place over a 6 – 10 week period. Developed in Sweden in the 1950s, Forest School is an intrinsic part of the education system in Denmark and is growing in popularity across the UK.

4 What sort of things do you do? Explore the natural world. Use tools to make things. Shelter building. Fire lighting. Campfire cooking. Arts and crafts. Storytelling. Music making. Learning through risky play.

5 What do the children really like about Forest School? Minibeasting…

6 What do the children really like about Forest School? Exploring…

7 What do the children really like about Forest School? Making things…

8 What do the children really like about Forest School? Using tools…

9 What do the children really like about Forest School? …and fire!

10 What about the National Curriculum? Forest School encompasses: Science. Art and Design. Maths. Communication, Language and Literacy. Design and Technology. Citizenship. Activities can also be linked to specific themes or subjects, e.g. the New Forest - wildlife, history and geography.

11 What opportunities does Forest School offer? Children are able to: Develop and share new skills. Grow in self confidence and self esteem. Be independent. Take part in child-led learning. Assess and manage risk. Problem solve. Use individual learning style. Explore and discover the natural world. Increase environmental awareness. Experience seasonal change and weather.

12 Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto Learning outside the classroom is about raising achievement through an organised, powerful approach to learning in which direct experience is of prime importance. This is not only about what we learn but importantly how and where we learn.

13 What about Health and Safety? All sites and activities fully risk assessed. Sessions planned and led by a qualified Forest School leader (Level 3). High adult:child ratios (at least 1:4). All staff and volunteers are CRB checked and follow the Wildlife Trusts policies and procedures. Designated First Aider. Well maintained tools and equipment. Children involved with assessing and managing risk. Information pack provided in advance.

14 Why is it being delivered by the Wildlife Trust? Through Forest School children are able to benefit from repeated visits to the outdoors; have opportunities to explore, play with and discover the natural world; develop an understanding, care and respect for their environment.

15 What does Forest School Cost? The high staffing ratios and amount of planning and preparation required to ensure the safe and effective running of Forest School programmes means that in order to come anywhere near meeting our costs the Wildlife Trust charges £75 per person for each programme. Even at this level of charge the Wildlife Trust loses money in order to deliver Forest School – but we very much believe that the benefits outweigh these costs!

16 In previous years The Wildlife Trust has heavily subsidized this particular Forest School project. This year the Wildlife Trust has worked extensively with the Federation to help it to secure more than 50% of the Project costs from the New Forest National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund. As a result the six week Forest School programme of six lots of two hour long sessions will cost just £26 per child.

17 Can you help? The higher the ratio of adults to children at Forest School the more the children can do and achieve. Each Forest School group (3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon) will have 2-3 Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers and a member of school staff – but additional help from parents is invaluable. Ideally we need a commitment (within reason!) to come to all 6 weeks of Forest School, but not necessarily both morning and afternoon. If you would like to help, please let school know. If you want to know more, please contact me or speak to one of the parents who has volunteered before – if youre not sure who to ask, school will know! We will be offering an introductory session on the common for parent volunteers the week before the Forest School Project starts, on the afternoon of Thursday 13 th September – exact details to be confirmed. The last Forest School session promises to be very special indeed this year – more details will follow, but in the meantime please keep Thursday 25 th October free in your diary!

18 You are invited to: Copythorne Common Forest School Day?Thursdays during autumn half term, starting on 20 th September. Time?Morning or afternoon – to be confirmed! Youll spend one half of the day at Copythorne Infant School and the other half in the woods! Place?Copythorne Common Nature Reserve and Copythorne Infant School. PLAY, LEARN and DISCOVER in our woodland classroom!

19 Quotes from children on Forest School I felt really good at Forest School. (from a child who does not normally feel good at school) I have learnt to use my eyes much more better. The best bit about Forest School is when I finally lit the fire! Forest School is amazing! Its about an outdoor experience of making shelters and cooking food. I look forward to Forest School because you do lots of fun activities and we work together as a team.

20 Quotes from parents on Forest School They are able to do many things that we took for granted growing up, like building camps and having fires. The children thoroughly enjoy Forest School and I believe it is a great experience for any child. He enjoyed everything about Forest School – he came home talking all about it and gradually over a few days more and more came out It was a wonderful, fun, confidence building experience that my daughter will never forget. I cannot recommend it highly enough! He has shown a lot more interest in tools and the outdoors – especially with Dad. He couldnt wait to go to school on a Thursday morning!

21 Quotes from teachers on Forest School A lot of the children definitely made friends with children from other schools and this became more and more apparent as the weeks went on. It was also noticeable that the children got to know different members of staff really well. The children enjoyed that it wasnt a one off trip and that their experiences developed over six weeks – they all learnt new life skills and their independence grew week on week. Students are now far more supportive of one another when attempting something difficult. All the children thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it had a very positive impact on the self-esteem of a number of children in the group. Their self- confidence developed directly as a result of the trust and responsibility they were given.

22 The Best Kind of Classroom by Ian MacMillan This is the best kind of classroom: No walls, just sky and trees. This is the best kind of classroom: No radiators, just a gentle breeze. You can learn well here As the birds sing, About your place In the scheme of things. You can make up poems About woodland flowers, Why its almost as interesting As the Literacy Hour! This is the best kind of classroom, Its a journey through time and space, From the smallest seed to the largest tree, This is a forest and a learning place. This is the best kind of classroom, Where the seasons dont happen in books, Where the learning is watching and thinking and talking, And everyone notices, everyone looks.


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