Packwood Acorns is very fortunate in having a Forest School in the spinney, a wooded area in our extensive grounds where all the children, from Reception to Year 2, have the opportunity to spend time learning in a space far away from the classroom. They help to build fires, use simple tools and build with the natural resources of the wood. They run around, climb trees and make camps. They create pictures and sculptures from found objects in the woodland, learn about the other inhabitants of the forest space and discover the pleasure of getting muddy and messy in the course of their learning.
Forest School is not a completely safe place: there are unpleasant things there (brambles, stinging nettles and maybe a wasps’ nest). You might fall out of a tree or get your foot stuck down a rabbit hole or trip over a branch. Fires can be dangerous and some plants are poisonous, but learning to assess and manage the risks is one of the most important aspects of Forest School, and the children learn how to make good decisions and behave safely.
There are plenty of elements from the Foundation Stage curriculum that can be learnt at Forest School, and there is always a planned element to the sessions, but the most important thing is the confidence the children acquire there, the connection to and curiosity about the natural world and the awe and wonder it inspires.