Forest School

Granta School Forest School 
Work has now been completed on our Forest School and it is now up and running for our pupils to use. The aim of the project was to provide our students with access to a wooded area, leased from a local farmer, which backs onto the rear of our facility.  Until now there was no direct access to the area and not all children were able to make the 800 meter trip around public footpaths to gain access.
 
We would like to express our thanks to The Bugler Group for helping make this project a reality.  Bugler group along with the help of Ashvale Civil Engineering, Stratton and Hesler Carpentry, Beaumont Forest Products and Swift Metalwork, laid the foundations and constructed a wooden bridge across a ditch.  This provided a quick access to the land for all of the children including wheelchair users.  
 
We are pleased to share with you photos below of the new bridge and the first children to make their way across it.  We look forward to many more years of access and enjoyment to this fantastic facility.
 

Forest School is a long term approach to learning which takes children out into the natural world to help the progression of children’s holistic skills. This includes social, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of personal development through achievable and engaging, hands-on activities. Forest School at Granta is inclusive for all, regardless of abilities, needs and mobility. It is currently run for all Key Stage 2 classes. Each class attends Forest School for a whole term, enabling them to become comfortable with the site and confident with expressing their desires in a child-led environment.

 

Free from the distractions of modern technology and the academic expectations of a classroom, children are able to develop their awareness of themselves and of others, encouraging social interactions, team work, patience, co-operation and communication. The impact of Forest School can be seen in the social and personal skills transferred back to the classroom.

 

The natural world plays a big part in creating the environment and providing resources to engage with. A sense of respect and responsibility for nature is fostered, whilst learning about the world around us. There is a link between nature and well-being, meaning spending time outside has a positive impact on how a person feels. Forest School is led by a qualified Forest School Practitioner, who has been trained in developing children's interest in the outdoors as well as incorporating elements of risk into play based learning.

 

Each session is child-led; the Forest School Practitioner will plan some simple activities for the class, but if no interest is shown or a child prefers to follow their own curiosity, then this is encouraged and the adults try to expand and broaden this. Sometimes, a child will just need time to themselves to process some thoughts which are playing on their mind and swinging in the hammock or sitting in a den is the perfect place for this to happen.

 

We are the first Special School in the County to provide Forest School as part of our curriculum, with our own Forest School Practitioner. We have been lucky to have been granted access to some local land very near the school.

 

Keep an eye on this space for updates and developments to the site and photos from our sessions.