What is Forest School?
Forest School is an exciting and unique provision at Mowbray Primary School. This resource is engaging and challenging all of our children within the outdoor environment. Forest School uses current theories of child development and focuses on children learning about the environment and themselves within unique surroundings, with strong links to the curriculum. Children gain a sense of well being during these sessions. A focus is on children taking responsibility and to learn how to work as part of a team. Manageable and progressive tasks are part of each session with an emphasis on 'risk benefits' rather than 'risk adverse'.
We are the only school in Northumberland to be awarded the bronze level Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC). We have been developing our Forest School area for a number of years now; we have a dedicated Forest School classroom within our Primary School and a wooden cabin on school grounds. This inspiring and magical environment is accessed by children when weather conditions are too extreme to continue learning outside.
Children will be given access to:
• Creative curriculum activities
• Tree and plant identification
• Team-building activities - learning about resilience
• Safe use of tools and equipment
• Activities that extend imaginary play
• Natural artwork
• Campfire cooking
• Knots and lashings
All activities allow children to develop and learn through play; in line with the national curriculum. All areas of learning are cross-curricular and there are ample opportunities throughout the school day to continue their learning in a style which suits the child. The children are allowed to take risks within a fully risk-assessed outdoor environment.
Each session is linked to the curriculum through collaboration with each class teacher and head of department. The sessions include links to topic, English, Maths, art, design technology and PHSE skills. Forest School enhances and extends your child's learning in a different environment, using practical activities to bring their learning to life.
Children have access to Forest School at the same time each week for either a morning or afternoon session; this is to establish greater links with learning in class. We have evidence that this is enhancing your child's learning and development. Mowbray teaching staff are working closely in partnership with the fully qualified Forest School leader to ensure that the children’s curriculum development is supported through well planned, engaging and exciting activities on the Mowbray Meadow. This partnership will be a continual process which will help all children to progress throughout their academic career at Mowbray. Mrs Ogglesby's enthusiasm towards her subject ensures each lively session is a positive, safe learning experience.
Our LOtC mark has been acquired because of our schools dedication to teaching children in the outdoor environment. We have seen huge success through this whole school approach. We are able to inculcate, curiosity, risk, aspiration, resilience, perseverance, life skills, self awareness, self esteem and self belief through this learning approach. Each week your child will experience well planned experiences during class time in the outdoor environment. This supports your child's curriculum development and helping them become a well rounded member of our school society.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Forest School, please do not hesitate in contacting Mrs Ogglesby via the school office.