Forest School and Outdoor Learning
Come into the forest and see what you can see...
We can promise: Engagement, Collaboration, Motivation, Perseverance, Wonder, Time to Explore, Safe opportunities to take Risks and much, much more!
At Broadwater Down, we are big fans of outdoor learning. Teachers use our own woodland to inspire great poetry, to find habitats in science and to imagine what life was like as a Stone Age person, making shelters and a fire.
The woodland and our great outdoor learning environment also provide a supportive setting for nurture groups, as well as a range of sporting activities.
In addition to this we run Forest School programmes, led by the High Weald Partnership and our very own Chair of Governors and Forest School leader, Penny. The programme not only teaches pupils specific woodland skills like fire-lighting, use of tools and bivouac-building, but also provides the children with opportunities to develop life skills such as good communication, collaboration, resilience and risk management.
Click here for our three year woodland management plan for 2019-2021.
Friendship and Teamwork
Forest School Ethos:
At Broadwater Down we are committed to the ethos of Forest School and aim to:
- Develop a love of learning that creates independent and confident learners
- Promote a secure, exciting and fascinating learning environment
- Support a positive relationship with home and the wider community
- Promote children’s self-esteem
- Encourage independence
- Promote positive behaviour to ensure the safe running of Forest School sessions
- Provide appropriate adult to child ratios
- Plan sessions that contribute towards a safe environment
Motivation and Creativity
Forest School Handbook
Extract from our Forest School handbook:
What is Forest School?
‘Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees’.
(Forest School Association)
At Broadwater Down Primary School, through our Forest School sessions, we hope to encourage independent, enthusiastic and creative learners who develop holistically through a well-planned and interesting child-centred approach.
Forest School Setting:
Broadwater Down has access to two sites that can be used to deliver Forest School sessions. The first site is our own wooded area, and the second is Hargate Forest, working with Kent High Weald Partnership, with kind permission from the landowners – the Woodland Trust.
Forest School Principles:
In developing our approach to Forest School at Broadwater Down we have adopted the ethos and principles of the Forest School Association. The Forest School ethos has 6 principles, which were agreed by the UK Forest School Community in 2011.
- Forest School is a long term process of frequent and regular sessions and aims for children to visit in blocks of six to eight weeks each time. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are all integral parts of the Forest School
- It takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment – we have been offered an area in Hargate Forest for use by the whole school, as well as utilising our own site based at school.
- We aim to promote the holistic development of all children involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- We will offer learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves.
- It will be managed by our qualified Forest School Practitioner, Penny Kift who is our School Governor and a level 3 Forest School leader.
- We will use a range of learner centred processes to create a community for development and learning that is responsive to needs and interests of the learners.