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Waterwells Primary Academy

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor learning

We value the importance of outdoor learning and forest schools and use their grounds well to provide these experiences. 

Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk-taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner-inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.

The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. Our approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.

Our Forest School sessions typically involve: a meeting in a circle; a story or discussion; an invitation to make or do or get involved in a game; cooking by the fire.

Children learn to look after themselves, each other and the surrounding environment.

Organised games include fox tails, the birds' nest game, hide and seek for the younger ones and nest robbers, capture the flag and ambush for the older children.

Children learn to saw, eye to hand coordination with hammer and nails, log splitting with axe and mallet and whittling,

Making activities include decorating log rounds, making willow wands and dream catchers, making fairy houses, clay work and ephemeral art with found items.