New for 2020
Forest schools help to encourage physical development and wellbeing in many different ways. Physical exercise helps release endorphins to help us feel better, it allows us to get our required daily intake of vitamin D by being out in the day light and sun shine, it can help fight fatigue and restore our immune system. Forest schools can also help to build friendships, it encourages team work and can build relationships. It allows thinking time from the daily challenges of our daily routines and can give breathing and thinking space allowing its users to self-focus and can offer a reflection process to help rebuild and refocus on our wellbeing. It also helps developments in many ways such as physical development in gross motor skills which are enhanced during climbing & balancing activities when tree climbing and natural obstacles courses made by the children. Running activities during hide and seek games, lifting, carrying and dragging during shelter building. Fine motor skills are also developed during activities such as striking a fire steel, lashing & knot tying, using a peeler or knife when whittling or preparing a feather stick for a fire and using a small beating hammer when leaf printing.
Forest school activities are child lead, they are trusted by the forest school leaders and given responsibilities to make their own decisions which helps to build Self-worth and boost Self-esteem during forest school sessions which allows them to transfer these skills into their everyday lives. These skills are small and achievable for each child with an end result. As a child’s confidence increases their self-image is also enhanced and this in turn helps to build their emotional intelligence and can help build their resilience and a can do attitude towards tasks they never thought possible. All of the above work towards positive mental health and well-being by feeling loved, that each child has a sense of purpose and will end up feeling a great sense of achievement and a belonging to a group who listens and respects them. At forest school there are no predetermined outcomes, this means that children are not judged or graded in anyway and therefore their self-esteem and self-worth increases resulting in stronger outcomes for the child.