The Forest School initiative originated in Scandinavia in the 1950’s where they believed in the principle that children can benefit greatly from the hands on learning opportunities inherently present in a woodland environment, but it was a trip to Denmark in 1994 by the Early Years Department at Bridgwater College and the ideas they brought back that started the development of Forest School in this country.
In 2003 the environment charity Green Light Trust, based in Suffolk was given the task of launching Forest School across the East of England with projects and training taking place in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and beyond. Many County Councils and Wildlife trusts are now supporting and engaging with Forest School and Universities are now including Forest School in their Teacher training courses.
How does it work at Shirley?
Both reception and year 1 classes take part in Forest Schools. The timetable varies according to the needs of the class, so please speak to your child's class teacher if you would like more information. We aim to go out every week to our school nature area, with a view to moving our forest learning to Bramblefields Nature Reserve which is just around the corner from Shirley School. The children explore, climb trees and tell stories. The children are at school for lunch and continue in the afternoon with follow up activities.
Our forest school leader is Julie Chambers.