Scarisbrick Hall First School
RECEPTION - YEAR 4
We are blessed with beautiful and extensive grounds at Scarisbrick Hall School. We work hard to bring this fortunate position into the pupils’ learning in First School. We have four qualified Forest School leaders who plan and deliver a bespoke programme of outdoor learning in and around our forest. The learning links to each class’s theme for the term and challenges the children creatively and socially as they work in teams to complete a number of tricky but engaging tasks.
From Pre-School onwards, pupils spend a double period per week in Forest School. They become familiar with the outdoors, nature and the fun of creating with natural materials, whatever the weather. Forest School sessions are a real highlight of each week and include:
In Pre-School - Forest School sessions also mirror the topics inside the classroom and help to bring that learning to life in the outdoor world. Topics such as ‘Why is water wet?’ and ‘Can we explore it?’ lend themselves well to sessions in the woods. Children develop their understanding of the importance of water for our environment in helping the trees and plants to grow. We love to explore the woods looking for wildlife and even going on ‘bear hunts’, through the deep wood, repeating ‘we’re not scared!’. We use the mud kitchen to explore colour mixing and experiment with different mud pie recipes. In the construction area, gross motor skills are tested using the diggers, spades and wheelbarrows. The children use their imaginative skills to build dens using bamboo and tarpaulins. Building woodland obstacle courses also develops their core strength.
Little Adventurers is a smaller rotation group from Pre-School who venture out to make the most of the seasons, enjoying the snow (when we get it) and the sunshine! Exploring nature and getting hands-on with world around them, this smaller group setup allows the children to also use tools, such as bow saws and hand drills, and cook over the open fire. This, again, helps the children to gain knowledge and confidence. During the sessions the children are given time and space to develop new skills and interests while the Forest School leaders scaffold their learning.
Examples of year groups' Forest School learning includes the following:
In Reception a favourite topic is linked with traditional fairy tales which take on an extra dimension when shared and retold in the woodland.
In Year 1 the pupils learn about the fire triangle and use fire strikers to light their own fires before re-creating (safely!) the Fire of London.
In Year 2 a half term of Beach School, using Ainsdale beach, as part of their topic ‘Beachcombers’
In Year 3 a hunt for predators, as part of their topic, tracking and trailing to discover the unseen wildlife in the woods.
In Year 4 a favourite is creating natural dyes from the berries and plants around the woodland, using these to tie dye calico and as natural paints.
Forest School engages our young pupils with the outdoors and prepares them for more experiences in Middle School and eventually for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme years, along their Scarisbrick Hall School journey. Ultimately, though, we hope that our pupils leave the school with knowledge of and respect for the great outdoors.