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What is Forest School

  1. Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions.

  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.

  3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.

  4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

  5. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

  6. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Ethos 1

Long term process of regular sesions

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Cheshire Forest School offers weekly sessions for children in Little Forest Folk groups where the children are supported by their parent or carer.

Weekly sessions are also available for school aged children to attend after school from April to October.

Ethos 2

Lifelong relationship with the natural world

Cheshire Forest School's base is a beautiful one acre woodland which forms part of the Mersey Forest and is surrounded by farmland.  It offers both children and adults the perfect environment to form a lifelong relationship with the natural world.

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Ethos 3

Learner-centred for development and learning

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Our woodland setting provides learners with opportunities to explore the natural world and develop their own interests.  Community is important and the fire circle is the place where the group comes together to share stories, chat and share a snack and drink.

Ethos 4

Holistic Development - resilience, creativity, independence and confidence

Forest School sessions are designed to develop the holistic learner, but what does this mean?  Our sessions offer learners the opportunity to develop their resilience whether that is to do with changes in the weather, learning to work with new people or even having a go at something that is just outside their comfort zone.  Confidence is developed in much the same way and the the natural environment offers learners the opportunity to develop their natural creativity and independence.

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Ethos 5

Risk taking - in a supported and appropriate way

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How do I need to alter or change my plan?
Do I need to tell someone?

Do I need to walk around a different way?
How strong am I?
Can I balance on here?
What are the other children doing?
Can I help them, support them and tell them of the dangers that are here?

The word 'Risk' is often a topic of conversation.  Forest School believes that allowing children the opportunity to consider and take risks in their learning is important for their holistic development. A child needs the opportunity to push their physical boundaries, to balance, to climb, to move, to stretch, to throw, to jump and swing. 

Now let's consider the benefits of walking on muddy ground; we discover that our boots slide about, and if it's really deep, we can make funny noises, we can dance and it can gloop. If its gloops too much, we take some of the mud with us on our boots and it erodes that particular area of woodland potentially exposing tree roots. Now tree roots can then cause a trip hazard. But by each child becoming mindful of the ground and change that happens, then each child has taken a risk but learnt along the way.

But by each child becoming mindful of the ground and change that happens, then it can increase communication and language, it can develop empathy and social skills, self-awareness and regulation. As a result of regulation it can allow us to problem solve and make decisions.

Ethos 6

Led by Qualified Forest School Practitioners

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Cheshire Forest School is run by Caroline Rogers who has a Level 3 Qualification awarded by the Forest School Association. Caroline is starting her Certificate in Therapeutic Skills for Outdoor Leaders in Spring 2023

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