Forest School and Outdoor Learning
For a long time, research has proven that there is a positive correlation between access and exposure to fresh air and enhanced learning outcomes. As a consequence, we dedicate a portion of our curriculum to being immersed in the great outdoors. From Nursery onwards, all Rydes Hill pupils benefit and enjoy outdoor adventures in our dedicated woodland Forest School. Additionally, we have recently built a new outdoor classroom that enables our pupils to benefit from outdoor learning, whatever the weather.
Forest School is an educational approach that emphasises learning and personal development in natural outdoor environments, typically woodland areas and forests. The overarching philosophy of Forest School is to provide children with frequent opportunities to engage with and experience nature in a hands-on manner. The overall aim is to encourage a child’s deep connection with the natural world, promote independence and encourage curiosity and creativity.
Forest School activities are typically child-centred and play-based, led by specially trained Forest School teachers. Activities include den building, nature walks, fire building, plant and mini beast identification, storytelling and arts and crafts using natural materials found in the environment. At Rydes Hill, we endeavour to cross our Forest School classes with other subjects in our cross-curricular programme. This helps to maximise a child’s time outside and also provides an additional and alternative dimension to other lessons.
We find that there are numerous benefits to offering Forest School as part of our curriculum. Forest School lessons can help to enhance physical skills such as coordination and balance as well as emotional and social skills, including teamwork, problem solving and resilience. Furthermore, Forest School and teaching outdoors also promotes an understanding and appreciation for the natural world, environmental awareness and a sense of stewardship.
Click here to learn more about Forest School.