‘We can never have enough of Nature.’ – Henry David Thoreau
The British Primary School of Wilanow hosts a comprehensive Forest School programme within the curriculum which supports pupils’ holistic development, encouraging pupils to be resilient, confident, independent, and creative. The ethos of this programme is founded in our learning philosophy ‘Courage to Fail,’ and strongly supports self-initiated learning as a necessary means to guide pupils in becoming compassionate individuals who care for the world around them. Forest School promotes a positive relationship between students and their natural environment, providing students the opportunity to learn in a less formal, solely child-initiated environment. The effects of this programme can be seen in increased emotional and social intelligence, as well as improved behaviour within the classroom.
BSW believes that Forest school supports the development of social and emotional intelligence through exposure to calculated risk and consider it fundamental part of the school education offering. Forest School support Pupils who struggle in the traditional classroom settings by providing opportunities for them to learn in a less formal, solely child-initiated environment, this has been seen to increase positive behavioural choices, which in turn supports the promotion of positive behaviour within the classroom. The independence instilled within the children during the Forest School sessions support future learning whilst allowing them time and space to socialise and play.
Forest School is led by our Sport and Outdoor Learning Coordinator, Saul Simpson, and supported by teaching staff.
Forest School Principles:
- Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves.
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School Practitioners who continuously develop their professional practice.
- Forest School uses a range of learner centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
Safety and Communication
The Forest School site has been extensively risk-assessed and this is regularly reviewed. Mr. Simpson and Mr. Davidson, Head of Primary, liaise regularly on safety and behaviour matters during the Forest School programme. Information about Forest School is shared weekly with parents on the Parent Portal. Practical information regarding proper clothing, permission forms, school-provided transportation, and so on will be shared by Mr. Simpson at the beginning of each school year.