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Forest Schools

Intent: Through their introduction to Forest School, we aim for the children at St Mary’s, Washington to increase their self-esteem and self-confidence, improve their cooperation communication skills and awareness of others, increase motivation and self-discovery and encourage a connection to the land around us.  Our Forest School setting is a beautiful open field full of wild flowers and home to many insects, bugs, small mammals and birds. There is a small Hazel Coppice and an abundant hedgerow that surround our site.

Implementation: Each year group participates in a 6 week session, each year.  Within our sessions we aim to help our young people to:
- Develop personal and social skills.
- Work through practical problems and challenges.
- Use tools to create build and manage.
- Discover how they learn best.
- To pursue knowledge and notice what interests them.
- Learn how to manage failure.
- Build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk.
- Develop practical skills and physical ability.
- Understand the benefits of a balanced and a healthy lifestyle.
- Explore our connections as humans with the wildlife and the Earth around us.
- Experience achievement and success.
- Reflect on learning and experiences during and at the end of each session.

During our sessions the children lead the way so that activities can be adapted to include our children’s own ideas and knowledge. These include (but are not exclusive):
- Shelter building.
- Woodlands and traditional craft.
- Developing stories to encourage or imagination.
- Art and sculpture work.
- Exploring landscape and history.
- Games.
- Growing our knowledge of the wildlife and those beings that walked before us.
- Working with rope and string.
- Fire, cooking and eating.
- Tool use.
- Sensory activities.
Impact: Our children will develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually development of our learners within the school’s nurturing environment. 

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