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Hindhayes Infant School


Forest School Curriculum Statement

Intent – Forest School at Hindhayes

Recent research used to inform practice: A number of research studies have been conducted relating to the effect of the natural environment on children’s resilience, confidence and wellbeing.  In a research study examining the behaviour of children, Hinkley, Crawford, Salmon, Okely and Hesketh found that children always seek physical challenges in their play, an observation attributed to the children’s need for extending their physical abilities and their independence. This observation is also linked to the children’s inclination to taking risks and eagerness to learn on how to deal with various hazards, which are understood to be important life skills.

Children and young people are stimulated by the outdoors and typically experience, over time, an increase in their self belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication and problem-solving skills and emotional well-being. children are physically active a lot of the time and their stamina improves as they go through their Forest School sessions. Their experience can also help to lead to the development of healthier lifestyles as children ask parents to take them on trips to woodlands and green spaces outside of school times. As the children gain confidence and improve their self-esteem this can impact on their emotional and mental well-being.  (Research from Forest School Association)

Developing Forest School at Hindhayes:

Forest Schools is an innovative approach to education based on outdoor play which aims to enrich children’s learning through motivation, risk taking and team work.  Children experience an environment that is totally different from the classroom, with freedom to take risk and explore in a natural landscape with adult support.  We encourage personal skills such as communication, as well as develop physical and emotional wellbeing.  Students to gain an understanding of the natural environment whilst developing the Forest School ethos, namely, development of self esteem, confidence and social skills.

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