Forest School PLUS

Outdoor Birthday Parties Box Wiltshire Forest School Bath 

Think back to your school days.  What days do you remember?  Do you remember the days that you sat indoors in class learning English, mathematics or geography?  Or do you remember the days when your lessons went outdoors and you were full of excitement?

And why shouldn't children learn English, mathematics, geography (or in fact any subject) outdoors where the learning can be so much more exciting?

Woodland Adventurers believes that education must be fun and exciting to truly maximise the learning opportunities for children (and adults alike).  Through having fun and enjoyment our minds are fully open to learning and positive memory retention. 

Woodland Adventurers offers Forest School with a difference.  We are unlike many Forest Schools who are extending their welly walks to collecting leaves on sticky back plastic and using bizarre potato peelers with overly zealous adult to child ratios and risk assessments that prevent the children from learning about risks.  Unbelievably we hear that many other Forest Schools even say that the children should not run in the woods!  

Woodland Adventurers enables children to be children - to explore, learn and have the most amazing fun that will instill long term positive memories.  Visit our Forest School and the children will get Forest School PLUS i.e. Forest School plus lots more such as the following:

Forest School PLUS
 Explanation

 Forest School

Outdoor activities as you would expect from any Forest School and much more exciting.  Woodland Adventurers will ensure that the activities provide real and exciting outdoor experiences for children to gain amazing learning opportunities.   All children are treated with high levels of respect and positive motivation through all activities, aimed at building their self confidence / self esteem / self belief and social skills.

 Farm Animals

Farm based learning opportunities through feeding and caring for farm animals such as pigs, sheep, chickens, guinea fowl, geese, ducks and rabbits.

 Enchanted Woodland

 

Woodland Adventurers provides 4 acres of enchanted beech woodland and paddock.  Privately owned and dedicated to Woodland Adventurers only, without general public access and without public rights of way - just the perfect size for providing children with a real sense of freedom and for being able to see where they are without losing sight of them!

History and geography
Woodland Adventurers' site in Box is directly linked to Isambard Kingdom Brunel in terms of both the history and geography of the site.
 Curriculum links
As well as history and geography, Woodland Adventurers especially focuses on PSHE (through team building and personal development activities), Citizenship, PE (through competitive team games, sport and exercise), Mathematics, English and Science.  Other subjects that can be linked to activities are Music, Drama, Design & Technology, Art & Design.

 Additional & extended activities

In addition to more conventional Forest School activities Woodland Adventurers puts significant emphasis on activities for health and well being, including physical activities such as running, team games and hiking as well as cooking, bushcraft and pottery in the outdoors.

Other activities (coming soon)
No time to stand still.  We are in the process of developing further activities that will be included shortly.
 Note: Activities will be adapted to suit the group and weather conditions.
 

Who visits our "Forest School PLUS"?

We offer Forest School PLUS learning for the following groups:

  • Primary schools
  • Home education / home school children
  • Pre-school groups
  • Nursery school groups
  • Parent and toddler groups
  • Childminder groups
  • Independent schools
  • Secondary schools 

Our Forest School PLUS sessions can be held at our location in Box Wiltshire (between Bath and Chippenham) or at your setting.  

Benefits of "Forest School PLUS"

Woodland Adventurers supports local schools, groups and families by providing fantastic and exciting cross-curriculum outdoor learning activities that support the Government's "Learning Outside the Classroom" Manifesto using Forest School principles that:

  • Build self-esteem and self belief
  • Improve social skills
  • Assist in peer relationship building
  • Assist language and communications skills
  • Provide cross-curriculum learning opportunities (connecting activities and experiences to learning topics i.e. connecting observations and activities)
  • Provide the connection between theory and "the real world"
  • Provide a more natural environment (classroom without walls)
  • Promote independence
  • Promote team working
  • Enable the learning of new skills
  • Enhance fine motor skills

Educational stages

Woodland Adventurers delivers outdoor learning opportunities for the following stages:

  • Pre-school and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
  • Key Stage 1 (KS1)
  • Key Stage 2 (KS2)
  • Key Stage 3 (KS3)
  • Key Stage 4 (KS4)
  • Independent Schools
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Adults
  • Independent learning approaches (outside of the National Curriculum)

Our approach

Forest School PLUS and Outdoor learning sessions are provided in our woodland, at schools or other locations. 

The sessions are developed and documented with each teacher to ensure the correct content for the educational stage and planned outcomes.

All sessions are risk assessed to minimise potential known risks as the participants' safety is of the highest importance.

We aim to provide activities that maintain the attention and interest of all participants.

We also make all reasonable efforts to be inclusive to permit all participants to join in the outdoor activities. 

A programme is normally planned that includes a minimum of 6 sessions per group.  However longer, ongoing programmes that become integral to the learning environment are more beneficial.  Sessions typically last between 2 and 4 hours and include a range of activities such as:

  • Bug hunting
  • Wild animal observation
  • Collecting and crafting
  • Den building
  • Camp building, lighting and cooking
  • Whistle making
  • Team games
  • Whittling sticks
  • Pottery
  • Woodland jewellery making
  • Arts and crafts
  • Compass reading and exploration
  • Story telling

Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire   Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire   Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire

This is not a fully inclusive list and all activities can be linked to the National Curriculum. 

Note: Often a session plan will evolve to include real life encounters and experiences.  And since the sessions include child-initiated / participant-led learning, the plans need to be flexible and it is important that the facilitator or practitioner provides the optimised learning opportunities using a level of judgement for each session. 

For example, it is not often that a buzzard will fly and land in the wood within easy eyesight of the group.  This would be (and has been!) an excellent opportunity to extend the session plan to encompass more (unplanned) inspirational learning opportunities.  Real life experiences (and learning) that stay with the individuals throughout their lives.

Background to Forest School

Friedrich Froebel established the first 'kindergarten' or 'children's garden', play and activity centre for children in Bad Blankenburg, Germany between 1837 and 1840. Froebel's insight was to identify the importance of 'activities' in children's learning. He introduced the concept of 'free play', with activities that included singing, dancing, gardening, exploring and self-initiated play with toys.  Within a century, this 'garden' concept had evolved into something more like traditional schooling with children spending more time indoors.

However, in 1952, Froebel's concept took a new life in Denmark where Ella Flautau applied the core principles to her own children. This gradually spread to local families, across the country and throughout Scandinavia.

In Germany, it took until the 1980s for Froebel's idea to be reincarnated as 'waldkindergarten' or 'children's woodland garden'.

In USA, Richard Louv published the book "Last Child in the Woods" identifying that children are no longer in touch with nature in a 'real' sense. He observes that children watch nature programmes on television and have knowledge of nature through this detached medium but they do not experience the simple aspects of nature through touching, seeing, hearing, smelling, through getting dirty and playing outdoors. 

In UK over recent years, unsupervised outdoor play has been replaced by heavily risk assessed activities with tight boundaries and overly close supervision, combined with indoor soft play centres on the weekends. 

Since 1995, following a delegation to Denmark from Bridgwater College and a growing interest across many parents, teachers and educationalists, Forest Schools are now becoming more widespread and they are gradually becoming integrated into traditional education. 

Forest School aims to provide child-initiated learning through activities in the outdoors, typically woodland and countryside. These activities are aimed at building self esteem and confidence, being inclusive, building social skills and independence and providing cross-curriculum educational links to the National Curriculum. 

Forest School supports the Government's 'Learning outside the classroom' manifesto. 

Forest School enables the children's learning styles to be observed and considered for the child's individual, optimum learning potential.  Learning styles include visual, auditory and practical. Also, schematic learning can be studied and given freedom for the child to explore in order to optimise each child's ability to learn at different and relevant moments in their early years.

Learning Outside the Classroom

The British Government's Department for Education (DfE) manifesto for "Learning Outside the Classroom" and the National Curriculum Stages:

Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire                                                 


Terms and Conditions

For Terms and Conditions visit: Terms and Conditions.

For more information

Bookings are taken on line using the "Book now" buttons on specific pages.  

For general enquiries you can contact us by phone on the number above (top of page) or you can email us using our contact form - see the Contact Us page.