As part of our priority to get pupils outdoors, we offer regular Forest School sessions in rotation to classes in Upper Prep through Year 8. Through these experiences, we want our children to relish the unique delight that is available through time in nature, in addition to building their confidence with a new set of skills and a growing a sense of responsibility for the great outdoors.
During this half-term, Year 2 and Year 7 pupils have been enjoying time in Clare Wood during their weekly sessions. Year 2 have been learning to whittle, practising wilderness cooking, creating natural arts and crafts, playing woodland games and more. Year 7 have practiced all of the steps in fire lighting including laying, lighting, striking and safe extinguishing. They have learned to cook rudimentary ‘what veg do I have?’ soup, tasted nettle crisps and dandelion cookies, and learned about which plants in the woodland are good for us and which may contain toxins best avoided. They have constructed water filters to purify the water from the stream and learned about filtration and the purifying properties of charcoal. They have also mapped the woods, laid trails and followed each others’ pathways to solve quizzes, find new destinations and experience the journey.
We hope this time in the forest will stay with our pupils long after their time with us, teaching them that nature offers a sense of satisfaction, refreshment and enjoyment that can only be found by stepping outside.