Forest School at Hawkhurst – Part 1

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Forest School at Hawkhurst - Part 2Principles

Forest School at Hawkhurst

Our Forest School has been established for a number of years and is a cherished and much anticipated part of the school week for children in Reception and Years 1 and 2. Forest School is an integral part of the Early Years and Key Stage One curriculum with classes making regular trips to our fabulous outdoor learning settings;

Where do we go ?

Forest School sessions are held either within our own beautiful school grounds or small, private woodland called Fowlers Paddock, which is a short stroll away. The school area is adjacent to the school pond which is a natural pond formed on the clay surface beneath. There is an enormous oak tree with smaller trees as well and the oak tree is encircled with small log seats.

How often do we go ?

Once the Reception Class has settled in school they work in the Forest School area every Thursday afternoon, come rain or shine. The only reason for cancelling a Forest School session is if there is a high wind. Other classes within the school are given a block of six Forest School sessions in a rotation.

What do we do ?

No two days at Forest School are the same as each session is completely child-lead. Chosen activities can range from building a simple but weatherproof woodland shelter to using natural sustainable materials for a creative project and from learning to use tools safely to simply sharing the discovery of an unsuspecting family of earwigs with friends. Whatever the children task themselves with on a given day, our Forest School is always a safe environment for them to take supported risks, test ideas, make mistakes, overcome challenges and question or rejoice in the natural world around them.

Who is the lead teacher ?

Mrs Elmes, our Reception Class teacher is the Forest School leader. She holds a Forest School qualification and has enjoyed leading this type of activity for many years.

How long do lessons last ?

A Forest School session lasts approximately an hour and a half but it may continue with follow-up work in the classroom.

“The mud kitchen is great fun and we love it when we sit around the fire pit drinking hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows.”