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Forest School
17

teabag20048 · 14/07/2013 21:54

Does anyones school run forest school? This is run at the primary my child is due to attend in September in the local public woods, whilst I agree that getting children out of the classroom is beneficial I feel worried that 4 & 5 years are taken down to the woods in all weathers, only reception class takes part in this. I have expressed my concerns and have been told that this is not part of the national curriculum so I could opt out of my child doing this, but don't want to single my child out. What do you think? Would you be concerned for your childs safety too or am I overreacting?

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Billysilly · 14/07/2013 22:03

It's great fun, the kids are kitted out appropriately for the weather and they learn lots.

I'm not in education but I believe there is lots of positive evidence out there for it, especially some of the Scandinavian countries.

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PatriciaHolm · 14/07/2013 22:05

They will play outside in all weathers in my experience, so it makes no difference whether they are in the woods! Make sure they have Wellies and coats/gloves/hats, they'll be fine.

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pebblepots · 14/07/2013 22:07

Do it, I'm sure your lo will love it

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Shakey1500 · 14/07/2013 22:07

Sorry but you're overreacting. It's great fun for them and (our school) has Forest school waterproof outfits for all weather fronts. DS loves it. Not so much fun for being not able to go. Your child will be fine Smile

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AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom · 14/07/2013 22:08

One of my criteria for a school was that forest school was a real plus!

It sounds great. They wear appropriate clothing. And many classrooms have free flow outside areas whatever the weather, so they'll be outside a lot anyway.

I adore the idea of forest school.

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MerryMarigold · 14/07/2013 22:10

I WISH our school had this, you lucky thing. You are overreacting. It's definitely a blessing not a curse! (And no, don't single him out)

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simpson · 14/07/2013 22:39

I would love my DC school to be a forest school Envy

However they do have an allotment and a pond so get taken out a lot to grow/plant things and look at wild life by the pond.

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Galaxymum · 14/07/2013 23:03

My DD loves being part of her forest school. They include lots of outdoor activities and link well with their environment. They recently had a book day outside linking the outdoors very well to their theme, and do lots of science, art, maths, literacy, and crafts outdoors. We chose the school partly for their outdoor work and for our DD, who is very outdoors orientated, it inspires her learning. The children all have their outdoor clothes and love getting out. It inspires them and is a big part of their learning experience. Definitely recommend forest schools!

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littlemefi · 14/07/2013 23:11

My dd also does forest school and has been doing it as a preschooler!
It's well supervised, good fun, and a few weeks ago parents were invited to spend the morning seeing what the children got up to- it was great!
They were exploring with magnifying glasses looking for bugs, enjoying being outdoors with excellent supervision.

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intheshed · 14/07/2013 23:17

Forest school is fab! They do it as an after school club at DD's school, it is always way oversubscribed, they have to pull names out of a hat. DD did it in her very first term of school, aged only just 4, and she had a whale of a time even in the snow! They had snowball fights, campfires and hot chocolate Grin

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metranilvavin · 15/07/2013 09:28

It's brilliant. DD went to Forest School every single week throughout the coldest bits of last winter - and I'm having a fight with school to try and persuade them to do more!

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sudointellectual · 15/07/2013 09:49

A major factor for us in deciding to move was gaining potential access to a forest school. How lucky you are! Envy

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teabag20048 · 15/07/2013 11:58

Thanks for your replies, seems I'm in the minority on this one! My worries are it being in open public woods (not within the school grounds) & from other parents who have helped out, who were surprised at the amount of freedom the children were given & also my child being scared of dogs. I will have to volunteer to help out then I will be able to see for myself. Its all a bit scary when your child goes to school for the first time, as you have no control over what they do.

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miemohrs · 15/07/2013 12:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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PassTheTwiglets · 15/07/2013 13:43

I can understand you being nerbvous about the woods being open (though the teachers will keep a VERY close eye on them) and for dogs running around but you are really over-reacting about them being out 'in all weathers'. It's not like we live in the Arctic or anything - as long as they are properly dressed they will be fine! I don't forsee any tsunamis, avalanches or tornadoes in this country :)

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BellaVida · 15/07/2013 13:50

My DC did forest school at their primary once a week, also in a public park. They always went to a specific area and dressed appropriately. We were advised what they would be doing in advance if they needed particular gear i.e long trousers as they will be climbing over felled trees and going through overgrown areas. They had great fun and did things like nature collages, wildlife spotting, shelter building, whittling (with special child friendly tools!) camp fire with hot choc and toasted marshmallows.

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NameoftheRose · 15/07/2013 14:01

Forest school sounds fantastic. We live on the edge of a huge forest, so my children spent hours playing in the woods when they were growing up. when they were little I would take the whole gang and as they got older they took themselves.
Recently one of my grown sons thanked me for that part of his childhood, running free in the forest, exploring, making camps, experiencing nature. Also, swimming in the river - I did not know about that!
It sounds like a great bonus for your child. I think going along too is a good idea and will help set your mind at rest.
Yes, it is hard as they grow and do new things, but it is exciting too, your child will have lots to tell you about.

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