As a passionate advocate of outdoor play l decided to take the plunge out of my comfort zone and I enrolled on a Forest School Teaching Course. This is a great way to get children active and learning outside. Developing self-esteem, working together and learning together on different projects. So, in August I flew to Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire (home of Adrian Mole for those of you who have read the Sue Townsend books) to start my 5 days of learning in the forest. And what a challenge! Building fires without matches, using tools, working on projects independently and at other times working in teams.
This was followed by 2 full days of first aid. An intensive course, as in the forest we work with fire and tools. As well as this there is a fairly demanding Forest School Portfolio to complete on line. This includes some serious academic work plus the practical task of teaching six classes of children in the forest.
Finally, a four-day assessment in the forest from which I have just returned. What great relationships I have forged; working and learning together.
So many of my friends and family have asked me ‘what is forest schooling’? Generally, people think it is going into the forest to learn the shapes and names of the leaves and trees, but it is so much more.
‘Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. It offers risk taking opportunities under supervision and allows children to grow their resilience.’
I am very much looking forward to arriving in Moscow soon and putting all this outdoor learning into practice.
Be Outside; Be Brookes
Nursery Teacher; Brookes Moscow