“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.” – David Polis
At St James Church School, we know that learning outdoors is crucial to a child's development, education and well-being. Research shows, that time spent outdoors can help children reach optimum learning, positively impact on health and well-being, develop communication skills, confidence and so much more! The list is endless.
Forest School learning is so important to us, that we believe every child at St James should experience Forest School.
Every year, each class will take part in a programme of at least six weekly Forest School sessions. These sessions involve practical, hands-on activities which aim to build up participants’ skills, abilities and confidence week by week.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is an inspirational approach to learning. It gives learners the opportunity to step away from the traditional four walls, allowing children the time and space to create and discover their own learning in a natural environment. This holistic approach turns planned lessons on their head and focuses on the process of learning, rather than the content; how we learn rather than what we can learn.
Forest School enables children to escape their comfort zone, reminding them of the incredible things they are capable of. Through regular, pressure free, practical activities, children develop in areas such as: resilience, confidence, self-esteem, imagination, independence, team work and so much more. New found hobbies begin to form, a wonder and appreciation for nature grows, motivation increases and fitness improves. The positive ripple effect these benefits can have on a child and world around them are endless.
Children begin to realise their full potential at Forest School. Allowing them to use tools, explore, investigate, assess risks and on occasion, sneak worms into their pocket! There are no ceilings to their learning, no ability groups, no tests and most of all no pressure.
All sessions are designed and led by Miss Sophie Carrott. Miss Carrott has over 7 years of experience working in Outdoor Education, as an Outdoor Instructor and level 3 trained Forest School Practitioner... However, Forest School strongly encourages participant–led learning, so as the week’s progress, learners are given more freedom and responsibility to explore their interests and therefore initiate and direct their own learning.
We are very proud of the incredible outdoor spaces we have around our school; staff, parents and children have worked hard to make these areas the great learning environment that they are today. These spaces include our beautiful Forest School area, a school garden, poly-tunnel and other various outdoor areas which are always being further developed to enhance the learning opportunities for all of our children.