Here at St Nicholas we wanted to use our school grounds not merely as a space that children can burn off energy, but as a space that can be used to cultivate meaningful experiences for positive lifelong impacts. In September 2019 we introduced our Forest School lessons. These lessons offer our pupils regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a natural environment, as part of their overall education.
Our Forest School sets learning in a different context for children where they can undertake a range of practical activities based on exploration and discovery. Not only can this improve physical health, this style of learning is beneficial to the mental and emotional wellbeing of pupils, particularly of those who struggle in a classroom environment. Children are able to learn important skills like problem solving, team-work and communication as well as expressing themselves creatively and building upon their health and fitness. It is an opportunity for pupils to develop aspiration for themselves and our school grounds (observed in Autumn 2019 when pupils designed and built a bug hotel in our wildlife area).
By encouraging, engaging and motivating children through positive outdoor experiences, we hope that they can take their new-found confidence and independence into school and other areas of their lives.