Forest School at Hillside is an opportunity for your child to experience nature and the outdoor environment in a safe, secure and hands on way.
At Hillside we are fortunate to have large school grounds which include an enclosed woodland area, large play grounds, open spaces and sensory areas which host a wide variety of trees, plants and wild life. We also have an outdoor forest school classroom and polytunnel for growing our own plants.
Sometimes activities may take place in local countryside and country parks.
Forest School activities are run by trained staff.
Hillside’s Forest School Team
Julie Greenall L3 Forest School Leader
Sarah Keast L3 Forest School Leader
Maria Peel L2 Forest School Assistant
Sue Nutter L2 Forest School Assistant
The Team work with classes throughout school & college giving opportunities for pupils to access outdoor learning and activities regularly, this will usually be once a week over a half term or in some cases a term. The session will run in all weathers apart from the extremes for example high winds.
You will be informed by letter when your child will be taking part in FS activities.
The Forest Schools team also run whole school activities such as..
- Den building days
- Harvest Festival
- Easter/ spring activities
- Fires, camp fire cooking
The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences.
Children learn best from first hand experiences. Exploring, playing and so learning using a range of activities designed by the leader and instigated by the children themselves, is what Forest School is all about. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem and team work are important parts of forest school. Health and safety considerations are always of paramount importance and activities are fully risk assessed.
All sessions are designed around the needs of the group, to ensure that they are learner-led. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such exploring the site or more obvious such as Romans, butterflies, bug hunting, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum Foundation to KS4 are intrinsically covered, in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led.
The activities are set up so they are within the capabilities of every person within the group (small achievable tasks). Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.