At LEO Academy Trust, we are fortunate to have wonderful outdoor spaces that provide numerous opportunities for our pupils to learn and explore outside the classroom environment. Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supports risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
Forest School happens regularly throughout the year. Pupils attend Forest School at least twice during their time at LEO Academy Trust. There are many bespoke opportunities for children in all year groups to attend and progress their skills and experiences.
The pupils engage in a wide range of activities which involve exploring the area and using natural resources. They are taught to respect the area and everything that is living in it. They are taught new skills, such as tying knots and cutting wood. They have the chance to work collaboratively e.g building a “bug hotel”, or in pairs making cosy homes for wild creatures to hibernate in. A lot of the Forest School learning is led by the children’s interests and they have the chance to ask questions and explore their own ideas.
The pupils and staff love their Forest School sessions and we have noticed an impact particularly in the pupil’s language and social skills, with increased vocabulary and confidence.
We are beginning to grow different vegetables to use in our LEO kitchens for school dinners. Growing their own food will give our pupils a great opportunity to see where our food comes from and the whole process from planting seeds to harvesting food.
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