The children have enjoyed learning about how important trees are for the environment. We were very pleased to receive 60 trees from the Woodland Trust. These have been planted around the school with the children’s help and we are excited to watch them grow for many years to come.
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 environment with trees. Forest school is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.
We offer all our students regular opportunities to achieve and develop through our Forest school programmes. EYFS and Yr 1 pupils participate in weekly sessions throughout the year (whatever the weather!). Yr 2-6 undertake a programme of at least eight weeks. Confidence and self-esteem is built through hands-on learning experiences in our beautiful woodland and pond environment. Our purpose is to create a safe , nurturing environment where a child’s emotional and physical needs are our priority.
We aim to develop children holistically in our natural woodland environment using open questioning as a stimuli to support individual learning and personal growth. At Tunstead school we believe that all children deserve high quality interactions, we are committed to excellent adult:child ratios. The sessions are run by Mrs Vicky Payne, who is a qualified level 3 Forest School Practitioner. A group of parent volunteers and teaching assistants also give guidance.
All participants are viewed as:
- Equal, unique and valuable
- Entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with the natural world
- Entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
- Entitled to choose, initiate and drive their own learning and development
Students develop skills whilst increasing their knowledge and understanding of the world, encouraging respect for their environment.
- Fires and fire lighting
- Campfire cooking
- Shelter building
- Tool use and natural crafts
- Environmental studies
- Team building games
- Species identification
- Mudpie kitchen
- Storytelling and drama
- Knots and rope climbing
What a busy year we have had at Forest School:
- Oak class made their own Halloween scarecrows for the village competition;
- The birds enjoyed a delicious selection of bird feeders in the colder months;
- The garden is stocked up with crops to eat, including strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, peas, broad beans and lettuces;
- Sycamore class have sown wildflower seeds and loved seeing the flowers flourish, as well as spotting the visiting butterflies and bees;
- Children have learnt how to safely light the fire and start their own fires;
- Many snacks have been cooked and enjoyed, a favourite being damper bread;
- Oak class have filled the school containers with some beautiful summer bedding plants;
- Year 6 completed a pond survey for Anglia Water – we had no idea that so many froglets were hiding! There were even mussels at the bottom of the pond!
- We have been learning about the life cycles of butterflies, frogs and plants;
- Year 6 were given the task of taking down two old bug hotels in the Spring. They sorted through the wood and created one large new bug hotel in its place. We even found a hibernating hedgehog!
- We have enjoyed many team games – our favourites are 123 Where Are You?, Forest Fire, Parachute and Cat And Mouse;
- The children have been sensible and resposible when using the tools – many of Oak class have used saws and hammers for the first time! We have constructed wooden aliens, tree cookie people, trains, card, boats and more.
Smiling faces says it all!