Forest School was introduced to Barrow Hills over six years ago and has driven its roots deep into the daily lives of our children. Our forest covers approximately 15 acres and is packed full of the most amazing native tree species and has a wonderful and diverse wildlife population.
The ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and for their capacity to investigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them.
It believes in children's right to play, to access the outdoors, to appreciate risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world and to build a resilience which will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers. Forest School is based more on the process of learning than it is on the content - more on the 'how' than the 'what'. Genuine Forest School practice steps boldly out of the shadow and limitation of 'planned activities' and ventures collaboratively into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and ultimately unlimited. A woodland environment is central in supporting this very dynamic approach to learning.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with Forest School at Barrow Hills with sessions for Prism and as a year group activity throughout the week right through the year. There is also a weekly Adventure Club from 4.30 pm until 5.45 pm through the warm summer afternoons and into the dark and cold of mid-winter, building resilience and the confidence to keep going when things get tough.
Everything we do is considered, and risk is always measured against benefit. Our sessions are action packed and huge fun, we include everyone and there is never a time when anyone feels they have failed.
In an age where we continually measure success it is easy for children to feel it is the best option to give up rather than fail: “I can't do it”. Forest School gives the space to alter that mindset and help it become “I can't do it yet” and then to try and problem solve until they can. In time and with the appropriate support this will convert to all aspects of a child's learning.
Forest School Instructor