This year we are setting up and running six Forest School projects for children aged 8-11 years, in Hackney. A Forest School is a form of regular outdoor learning which draws upon the outdoor kindergarten practices of Scandinavia.
Children participate in a long term programme of outdoor activities designed by a Forest School Leader. We will deliver Forest School programmes in partnership with six different Hackney primary schools. Each programme will run during term-time for 12 sessions and each session will last for two hours. Sessions will take place after school (usually from 3.30 to 5.30pm) and will be led by two experienced staff members, a sessional worker and a volunteer.
We will help children referred to the project because they are facing a range of psychological or behavioural difficulties at school and could benefit from the multiple opportunities for learning and interacting with others at a Forest School. The children may have low self-esteem or be lacking in self-confidence; be a victim of bullying; or find it difficult to relate to other children.
The location of each Forest School will be decided following consultation with teachers, parents and children. Since there are often parks and green open spaces a short distance from schools, we will provide most activities in parks. But some children may be more comfortable attending a programme on school grounds and this is an option if the school has a suitable green space. Our experienced team of environmental educators will work with each group of children over the 12 weeks of the programme on a range of practical environmental activities. The children will work in teams and learn how to take turns, to negotiate, to listen to each other, help each other and cooperate. We aim to help the children build resilience while dealing with the environmental tasks. We provide a report to schools at the end of the project so that teachers understand the progress that has been made.
If you are interested in having a forest school club at your school, please get in touch
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