Forest School at Marlborough Primary
Forest School is encouraging and inspiring individuals through positive outdoor experiences.
A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences over an extended period of time. At Marlborough we do not have a ‘typical’ woodland, but an area in the grounds has been designated the ‘outdoor’ classroom, where trees and shrubs have been planted to create a ‘woodland’ type space. This was developed by the Year 2 children. We also take the children to Devonport Park for relevant activities. During some sessions, Parents are invited to take part in the activities alongside their children, and bring younger siblings.
The KS1 Coordinator trained (2011-12) to become a Forest School Leader. It is felt that the curriculum must respond to the needs of the children. The observations of this approach are very promising with targeted pupils engaging well. Teachers from Year 1 and Year 3 are currently undertaking the training to become Forest School Leaders (2014-2015).
The children in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 take part in a Forest School session each week throughout the year. They are involved in a wide variety activities designed to develop their learning capacities such as: independence, collaboration, perseverance, resilience, reflection, engagement and through these increase levels of self-esteem. The sessions are followed up in the classroom, where the children keep a ‘Forest School’ diary.
During the summer term 2013, we introduced Forest School sessions for a group of 15 KS2 targeted pupils. They attend the sessions each week for a term.