Forest School & Outdoor Learning

The Ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and  maintain curiosity in the world around them.

Forest School believes in children’s right to play, the right to access  the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment) the right to to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of  social interaction, to build a resilience that will enable continued and  creative engagement with their peers and their potential.

What does this look like at Engayne?

At Engayne we are committed to getting our children outdoors as an integral part of their learning.

In EYFS this is “Welly Wednesday” where we head outside each week and explore the school grounds using our senses and developing our creative skills.

All year groups plan outdoor learning whether is it Year One and their Autumn topic or Year Three weekly maths challenges all the children get to learn and engage with their learning in new and exciting ways. The new outdoor classroom on the field has given us a super “hub” for our lessons.

Year Two, Four and Five have Forest School sessions.

What are the benefits?

  1. Confidence and independence
  2. Empathy with others and nature
  3. Physical health benefits
  4. Mental wellbeing
  5. Learning from experiences
  6. Exposure to managed risks
  7. Better mood and sleep
  8. Teamwork

This is what it looks like!

We have received a very generous donation from our local British Garden Centre of a large amount of Spring bulbs! Year One and Year Six partnered up to re-wild and plant bulbs within our school grounds to enhance our green spaces around the school. We look forward to seeing them bloom in the Spring! Spring has brought us the opportunity to plant some trees! The charity We Dig Trees has given us 100 trees which Year 1 and Year 6 have planted for us.

Our forest school sessions are fantastic fun! We go out in all weather …. and keep smiling!

Our EYFS children go out weekly for Welly Wednesday. They participate in activities, games, stories and poems which immerse them in nature while exploring our school grounds.

We are proud to announce we have been awarded a Level Four Garden award from the RHS. Prizes include flower and vegetable seeds, certificates and some amazing gardening books. We have also received another £100 garden voucher to enhance our grounds even further.

We are working hard to submit evidence for our Level 5 award. We are working with our local community and planning to expand our planting and growing projects so we are gardening at Engayne all year round!

We are also very pleased to announce that we have been awarded £500 from the Old School Foundation charity and received a very generous donation from Shirley Tours via the EPFA to use for the garden and planting projects we have planned for the coming year. We intend to use the funds we have to give all the children in school the opportunity to plant and grow from seed, maintain and assist with the beds, planters and growing projects in the Wellbeing Garden, allotment area, EYFS garden and enhance our school grounds! See below for the beautiful new raised beds and planters installed by Thames Chase and their volunteers using these generous donations.

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