The Beehive Montessori Forest School, Amersham
Thursdays 9.15 am – 12.15pm
“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers
children and young people opportunities to achieve,
develop confidence and self esteem, through hands on
learning experiences in a local woodland environment.”
National definition: by Forest School (England) Network
Why is Forest School such a great opportunity for your child?
- Forest School uses the outdoor environment to help children learn over a length of time on a regular basis rather than a one-off visit.
- Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world, providing a chance to explore through the senses.
- Research has shown that this method of learning is truly beneficial in all areas of the curriculum and develops the child holistically. It fosters resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest School offers the children the opportunity to learn how to handle risks, to use their own initiative, to solve problems and cooperate with others. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem, independence, social skills, develops motivation and concentration, knowledge and understanding, creativity and physical skills.
In the summer of 2015, the opportunity came for me to train as a Forest School leader. I knew a little about Forest School and felt it would sit really well with the Montessori ethos.
Ever since I was a child, I have loved being outdoors and have always been fascinated by nature. I feel very passionate about it and am so driven to share all this with the children at school.
I was brought up in an era when we set off on our bikes with a group of friends and spent most of our time outdoors, exploring, and then came home for tea! There is a clear concern amongst educationalists, worldwide, that children are losing touch with their natural environment. Creating a love of the outdoors can only be done when children are exposed to it in reality.
Excited children gather on a Thursday morning at the woodland site. They walk down their ‘magical path’ and eagerly find a place, sitting on a log at ‘Base Camp’.
The session starts with a welcome song and some quiet time to look around them and hear and see the changes from the previous week.
There are not many rules at Forest School but just enough to keep us all safe. The children love the repetition of going over the rules……”We don’t put our fingers in our mouths – we might get sick” ……..”We can play with sticks – even really big ones, but we need to drag them, not wave them around”…….”We mustn’t go over the blue rope or under it – we could get lost”….etc.
The children help to keep the site safe, taking control of responsibilities for them selves. Activities follow…games of hide and seek, mud painting, searching for minibeasts, making dens, having a go at using a saw, climbing trees, collecting treasures, making potions…..the list is endless. We gather for a snack and “we even have Hot Chocolate!!”
Our whistle is blown at the end of the session. ‘123 Base Camp’ is called and you hear the sighs and cries of “Oh no…do we have to go home now?!!!”
‘Too often we think of ourselves as separate from nature, forgetting that we are just a part of it’