Forest School sessions are predominantly child led with plenty of opportunities for learning and development during each session. These come in the form of new skills acquired through tool work (which could be as simple as drilling a hole or hammering in nails or more complex such as using a knife to whittle), nature inspired crafts, cubby building, fire making, campfire cooking, knot work, invertebrate hunting, developing an understanding of the ecosystems, flora and fauna identification and lots of free play.
My role as Forest School leader is to facilitate the session and to provide instruction where needed. Most sessions will follow a similar structure allowing the attendees to take comfort in the familiarity of each session. The children will be informed and reminded of the boundaries and any risks involved in the session and they will be encouraged to think about how they will be respectful of the space and each other. There will be stations set up with a variety of activities and the learners can approach each task when and if they feel comfortable to do so.
More risky activities will take place when a level of trust has been established between myself and the group. Many activities will be scaffolded allowing for small, achievable tasks to be accomplished over time.
Positive language will be used throughout each session to promote self-esteem and decision-making.
There will be plenty of unstructured free play where children will be encouraged to discover, explore, observe and question what they find.
At the end of each session we will group together around the campfire (with a hot chocolate and popcorn or other campfire yummies) to review what they have learned and experienced to enable each child to see how they have developed.