Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

St Paul’s Forest School offers children opportunities to achieve, develop self -confidence and self- esteem through hands on learning in a local woodland environment.
In Forest School, children visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and, through play, have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks, and most importantly, how to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others.

Well-being is central to Forest School, with challenging experiences that meet each child’s needs, support their well-being and allow them to follow their own interests and motivations as part of a caring, supportive respectful community.

‘I think risk taking was one of the most valuable aspects of these forest school sessions. Children who looked like they did not get much opportunity to negotiate uneven surfaces, mud, tree climbing got the chance and freedom to become at home in that environment.’ (Parent volunteer)

Forest School activities include exploring the woods, minibeast hunts, making bug hotels, den building, shelter building, listening to natural sounds, storytelling, hide and seek, tool use, knot tying, tree climbing, planting wild flowers and natural music making.

‘The children had a different way of interacting in Forest school. They had new opportunities to look after themselves and each other, whether it was keeping themselves warm, helping fellow pupils climb a slippery hill or listening and paying attention.’ (Parent volunteer)

Through weekly visits to the woods St Paul’s Forest School instils a love of the outdoors.
Inspirational, stimulating, hands on experiences help children to develop self-esteem, confidence and responsibility. The use of the woodland setting, the various real tools and the natural resources bring learning to life, creating an understanding of the balance of nature and developing and deepening respect for ourselves, others and the world around us.

‘A fantastic morning in the forest exploring for sticks to make dens. Made stick men and small and large dens, A great experience for all the children. Excellent teamwork -a great morning’ (Class teacher)

We have regular weekly Forest School sessions for Reception Children in the woods behind our school. We would like to enhance our provision by rebuilding the path into the woodland for easy access from the reception playground, buying tools for the children to use in the woods, purchasing fire safety equipment and a Kelly kettle so the children can experience the magic of a real fire, and buying waterproofs and wellingtons so the children can go out in the woods in all weathers.

We will use the grant to buy waterproofs, tools and fire safety equipment to use in our regular Forest School sessions,to buy materials for rebuilding the path into the woods and to pay for a Forest School Leader to run 3 family workdays to rebuild the steps, build minibeast homes, and plant bulbs and wildflowers.

Our family workdays will enable parents and children to work together to improve their environment. Being outdoors, active and involved in a community activity will benefit the physical, mental and emotional health of the adults and children.

‘I enjoyed myself, felt very wholesome and had an increased sense of well being’ ( Parent volunteer)

‘Even as an adult I felt my own mood elevated by being outside and was totally absorbed in the activities’. (Parent volunteer)

This is what St Paul's Reception children say about Forest School

‘I like smelling the flowers in the forest’
‘I enjoy helping my friends up the muddy hill’
‘I enjoy finding wriggly worms and making homes for them’
‘I enjoy making houses out of twigs’
‘We have learnt that it is important to look after our world such as the plants and insects'
'I like forest school because you can get messy and have fun'

St Paul's School PTA

We are proud to have such a richly diverse community with wonderful children, dedicated staff and fantastically supportive parents. Seeing the happy, smiling and enthusiastic faces of the children arriving at school is inspiring .It may be a small school, but it clearly has an incredibly large heart

Location: Wood Green, London, United Kingdom