At Holy Cross we have extensive grounds including an amazing Forest School area! Forest School at Holy Cross is one of the exciting ways in which we are promoting learning outside the classroom and into the outdoors. Each class will receive a block of Forest School in the school year on a Monday and there is even an after-school club open to Year Two to Year Six.
What is Forest School?
Forest Schools are based on outdoor nature schools in Denmark. In Forest Schools, children learn and play outdoors in a natural space. They visit the outdoor setting regularly over weeks or months. It aims to promote a relationship with nature through personal experiences. When children learn outdoors, they develop in lots of ways all at once. The learning they do is very secure and they get the opportunity to exercise mind, bodies and hearts!
Who runs Forest School?
Forest Schools at Holy Cross is run by The Green Shoots Project with Chris Paterson leading the sessions. Chris has been a Primary School teacher for fourteen years working across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in various schools in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove. He is a passionate advocate of outdoor learning, a creative and innovative teacher and brings a wealth of teaching experience and knowledge to Holy Cross.
What do the children do in Forest School?
Some of the activities will always be available, but Forest School is child led and allows them to participate in what they are most interested in.
Activities at Forest School may include:
֍ Make tangible crafts from natural materials to take home.
֍ Whittling sticks and making fires, using matches and fire steels.
֍ Nature awareness games, which develop movement skills.
֍ Using imagination, playing pretend with things they find.
֍ Looking at flora and fauna in their natural environment.
֍ Learning how to safely use hand tools such as peelers and palm drills.
֍ Sawing wood with bow saws and fixed blade saws and knives.
֍ Climbing trees and jumping off logs.
֍ Tying knots to make things work.
֍ Making dens and tracking animals.
֍ Jumping in puddles and mud.
What do the children need for Forest School?
Children taking part in Forest School need a complete change of clothes on the day that they do Forest School. They should come to school in their uniform as per usual, with a change of clothes in a bag. This change of clothes should include:
֍ Warm clothes that they do not mind getting muddy in.
֍ Thick trousers/coat/jumper according to the weather.
֍ Wellies—it can be really muddy in winter and summer.
֍ Gloves and hat if it is cold.
In Forest School we aim to go out in all weather conditions. If a child is not suitably dressed, sadly they will not be able to take part in the Forest School session.