St John’s Forest School
There’s a real buzz around getting children into the outdoors at the moment – outdoor learning, outdoor play, outdoor education, wild time, everyone’s talking about how important it is to get our children outdoors.
St John’s School has the benefit of very large grounds which were transformed into an environment suitable for a wide range of outdoor learning activities. Within the grounds is a ‘classroom in the sky’ treehouse with two pods capable of accommodating 15 pupils. A woodland trail, peace garden, willow dome, outdoor musical instruments and climbing wall and equipment.
These all connect into the National Forest School’s curriculum and offer learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. Children develop a variety of skills including planning, observing, team working in order to become confident, independent and creative learners. For example, children will know how to light a fire and the risks involved, fire safety and safety for others, how to use a peeler to whittle a carrot, use a bow saw to cut a cookie and clamp drill to drill a hole in it. Good team work is developed by a group of children when laying out skittles, deciding the value of each skittle knocked down, deciding whose turn it is and using mental arithmetic skills keeping tally of totals in their head.