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St. Oswald's RC

Primary & Nursery School

Nihil Satis Nisi Optimum Only the best will do

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Forest School Visits

All classes have the opportunity to visit the forest school at Rothwell Heights, on an annual basis.  Each class (4 - 7) will have four sessions, throughout a term, to learn a range of skills.

Nursery and Class 3 experience Forest School activities throughout the year on site with our two trained leaders Ms. McLean and Mrs. Nagadowska.


What are Forest Schools About?

Forest School Ethos

This is based on the fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them.

It believes in;

  • children's right to play
  • the right to access the outdoors and in particular a woodland environment
  • the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world
  • the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction
  • To build resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential.


Forest School Policy

Forest Schools are based on the process of learning of the 'how' rather than the 'what'. The Forest Schools step boldly out of the shadow and limitation of planned activities and ventures into the realms of the unexpected, unplanned, and ultimately unlimited.


Children and young people are given encouragement to direct their own learning this often requires support on the part of the forest school leader either through stimulating play in the outdoors or through building on a child's learning, but mostly through simply observing how children are in the outdoors.


Significantly, and on many levels, a woodland environment is central in supporting this very dynamic approach to learning: from the changing of the seasons, to the contemplation of an ancient tree; the dynamic nature of an outdoor environment - an infinite source of smells, textures, sounds and tastes; a range of visual stimuli from near to far, high to low, very big to very small; and the infinite layers of historical, cultural, spiritual and mythological significance.


We believe that forest school is an inspirational process that offers children the opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self esteem through play and hands on learning experiences in a woodland environment.


Forest schools build on innate motivation and positive attitude towards learning offering the opportunities to learn social, personal, and technical skills.


A forest school uses the forests and woods as a way to build independence in children and young people. Cross - curriculum activities including the natural environment, the complex ecosystem supported by a wilderness, and recognition of specific plants and animals.


Personal skills are considered highly valuable, such as teamwork and problem solving. The woodland environment may be used to learn about more abstract concepts such as mathematics and communication.


They allow children to become comfortable and confident through an outdoor approach to education and play whilst in familiar surroundings.


This allows relationships to grow based on self exploration and trust between leader and individual children.


What makes a forest school so unique is its emphasis on learning outside of traditional indoor classrooms and having the freedom to explore the ever changing environment, to have the opportunity to take risks and assess risks for themselves. Children learn about nature by being in the woodland and learning is led by children's interests.

One of the main principles is to promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainability. The children are taught about respect and responsibility for the world around them.