Forest School Worcestershire
If you are looking for a Worcestershire Forest School the Red Forest School at At Kinver Edge just a few miles from Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley in Worcestershire are fast establishing itself as one of the most popular. The Red Forest School attracts visitors of all ages children, families and schools from all over Worcestershire and The West Midlands. We offer a wide range of forest learning activities for regular visitors as well as one-off visits and special events.
For a first-class Forest School in Worcestershire, you need to look no further than the dedicated team you’ll find here at the beautiful Arely Arboretum. You can see from our reviews that we are popular with parents and children alike and we have a range of family and adult-only bushcraft sessions that complement our regular outdoor class sessions. The crew at The Red Forest School North Worcestershire look forward to meeting you soon and sharing their passion for the forest.
What is Forest School ?
“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.” Forest School Association
“At Forest School all participants are viewed as:
equal, unique and valuable
competent to explore & discover
entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
entitled to experience regular success
entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world
This learner-centred approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every Forest School session and programme with discovery and difference. Yet each programme does also share a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers”. Forest School Association
At The Red Forest School, we aim to achieve these benefits by providing adults and children with a safe, natural environment where they can develop themselves. This might be by improving their self-esteem, self-confidence, social skills, develop their independence, improve their physical ability and learn to respect themselves and others around them.
Learners take responsibility for their own learning and the ethos encourages learners to develop at their own rates.
FOREST SCHOOL ETHOS AND PRINCIPLES
The Forest School ethos has six principles, which were agreed by the UK Forest School community in 2011. For more information on what Forest School is and how the guiding principles were agreed to see What is Forest School?
The six guiding principles of Forest School are given below. Criteria for good practice relating to each are listed directly underneath.
Principles and criteria for good practice
Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
- Forest School takes place regularly, ideally at least every other week, with the same group of learners, over an extended period of time, if practicable encompassing the seasons.
- A Forest School programme has a structure which is based on the observations and collaborative work between learners and practitioners. This structure should clearly demonstrate progression of learning.
- The initial sessions of any programme establish physical and behavioural boundaries as well as making initial observations on which to base future programme development.
Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
Whilst woodland is the ideal environment for Forest School, many other sites, some with only a few trees, are able to support good Forest School practise.
- The woodland is ideally suited to match the needs of the programme and the learners, providing them with space and environment in which to explore and discover.
- A Forest School programme constantly monitors its ecological impact and works within a sustainable site management plan agreed between the landowner/ manager, the forest school practitioner and the learners.
- Forest School aims to foster a relationship with nature through regular personal experiences in order to develop long-term, environmentally sustainable attitudes and practices in staff, learners and the wider community.
- Forest School uses natural resources for inspiration, to enable ideas and to encourage intrinsic motivation.
Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
- Where appropriate, the Forest School leader will aim to link experiences at Forest School to home, work and /or school education
- Forest School programmes aim to develop, where appropriate, the physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the learner.
Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Forest School opportunities are designed to build on an individual’s innate motivation, positive attitudes and/or interests.
- Forest School uses tools and fires only where deemed appropriate to the learners, and dependent on completion of a baseline risk assessment.
- Any Forest School experience follows a Risk–Benefit process managed jointly by the practitioner and learner that is tailored to the developmental stage of the learner.
Principle 5 Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
Forest School is led by qualified Forest School practitioners, who are required to hold a minimum of an accredited Level 3 Forest School qualification. Find more information on Forest School qualifications here.
- There is a high ratio of practitioner/adults to learners.
- Practitioners and adults regularly helping at Forest School are subject to relevant checks into their suitability to have prolonged contact with children, young people and vulnerable people.
- Practitioners need to hold an up-to-date first aid qualification, which includes paediatric (if appropriate) and outdoor elements.
- Forest School is backed by relevant working documents, which contain all the policies and procedures required for running Forest School and which establish the roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers.
- The Forest School leader is a reflective practitioner and sees themselves, therefore, as a learner too.
Principle 6 Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning
- The Practitioner models the pedagogy, which they promote during their programmes through careful planning, appropriate dialogue and relationship building.
- Play and choice are an integral part of the Forest School learning process, and play is recognised as vital to learning and development at Forest School.
- Forest School provides a stimulus for all learning preferences and dispositions.
- Reflective practice is a feature of each session to ensure learners and practitioners can understand their achievements, develop emotional intelligence and plan for the future.
- Practitioner observation is an important element of Forest School pedagogy. Observations feed into ‘scaffolding’ and tailoring experiences to learning and development at Forest School.
A learner-centred pedagogical approach is employed by Forest School that is responsive to the needs and interests of learners.