We are really excited to be able to introduce outdoor learning sessions which will lead into developing our Forest School programme .

Sibertswold is committed to giving children the opportunity to learn in the outdoor environment. We believe that taking learning outside is good for promoting children’s self esteem, well being, behaviour, co-operative learning and problem solving. These skills feed back positively into classroom work and other settings.

What is Forest School?

“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.” (Forest School Association, 2015)

Forest School is based on an idea originating from Scandinavia where people of all ages and abilities can develop socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually through play following individual and preferred learning styles. This is from using the outdoors as a learning environment through which the children are able to take managed risks whilst having first hand learning experiences

“Learning to manage risk and adventure has important cognitive benefits, not just in increasing knowledge but also in developing personality traits such as team working skills, motivation, concentration and perseverance.” ( Knight 2011)

This principle is at the heart of our outdoor learning and Forest School sessions. We allow children to explore and experience risk in a safe environment. To allow this to happen we use risk benefit assessments for relevant activities which weigh up the risk versus the benefit to the children for the particular activity. As well as high adult to child ratio which allows us to communicate with the children on a very individual bias. This ensures that we minimise any possible risk and that the learning can take place in a safe environment.

Key features of Forest school

• It is run by qualified level 3 Forest School practitioners.

• It is a long term process with regular contact in a local wooded environment (preferably over the seasons).

• It follows a child-centred pedagogy where children learn about and manage risk.

• It has a high adult: child ratio.

• Observation of the learners is key to enabling scaffolding of the learning.

• Care for the natural world is integrated.

• Learning links where appropriate are made with class and home

We are very lucky to have a small wooded area on site and this is where our sessions will take place. As an integral part of this process, children, staff and visitors will learn to understand the natural environment with the aim of being able to care for it and learn how to sustain it. They will also experience the outdoors in all weathers, With the exception of very high winds and thunder storms, please assume that your child will be outside when they take part even if it is for a shortened session.

What should they wear?

As weather patterns are continually changing through the seasons, it is very important that you adjust the type and quantity of your child’s clothing when they are at Forest School!

We work on the principle that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only

bad clothing”.

See below examples of good clothing

  • The children will need to provide waterproof trousers and coats for wet weather.

  • All children to wear sensible footwear, walking boots, wellies

  • Thermal or thick socks.

  • Children to wear long trousers (to protect legs from scratches and stings) In addition tights or leggings are advisable to be worn under trousers for both boys and girls on cold, damp days

  • Long sleeved top.

  • Fleece or jumper

  • Layers are advisable as this will keep your child warm and comfortable and can easily be removed if needed

  • Hat, and scarf – good for keeping chilly winds at bay

Summer:

  • Long sleve T-Shirt (to protect arms from scratches and sunburn)

  • Long trousers (shorts/skirts are not suitable for Forest School sessions)

  • Socks and leather trainers (sandals/open-toed footwear is not suitable)

  • Parents will need to provide sunhats and lotion on sunny hot days

Please take note clothes and footwear will get mucky so please choose suitably. These will need to be taken home and cleaned ready for their next session.

School uniform still needs to be worn when not at Forest School

If you have any problems about clothing please speak to the Forest School Leader.

In light of the current restrictions on using our outdoor spaces, getting creative when it comes to outdoor learning is important.

Utilise your garden, window sills and get the windows and doors open as much as you can weather permitting, to bring the outside in.  Take the opportunity when going for your one form of exercise a day to collect things along the way.

I hope you have been able to do some of these outdoor learning activities.

Connect with Nature

Some simple things to connect with nature to try in your garden if you have access to one or on you allocated form of exercise. Me and my boys have been doing these and have had lots of fun.

  1. Create a den (this can also be done inside) Use a bed sheet, blanket, under the table.
  2. Do some cloud watching.
  3. Listen to the birds song.
  4. Star gazing
  5. Bat watch as the sun sets and twilight fall keep your eyes peeled

See the link below for more ideas for some outdoor fun and learning.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/kids-and-families

How to take part in the Big Butterfly Count

The Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday 17th July to 9th August 2020. Taking part in the Count is easy: find a sunny spot and spend 15 minutes counting the butterflies you see and then submit sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org or via the free Big Butterfly Count app.

butterfly-id-sheet-england Download

Have fun with it and get creative, I can’t wait to see and hear about how you got on.

NWilkinson-Tough@sibertswold.kent.sch.uk

Are you mad about butterflies? Follow the link and find out more about them . we love looking for butterflies in our garden and out on our walks,we take our butterfly ID Dial with us so we can learn more about them .

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/brilliant-butterflies

Activity passport for 30 days Wild Challenge Download

There are so many beautiful summer flowers out at the moment. How many of them can you name? Can you go on a flower hunt? Could you make some flower perfume or some flower soup?

Thank you all for being so amazing.

Keep up all the good work and remember this should be fun so don’t forget to take time out and just enjoy your time you have with your families . Missing all your smiling faces

Mrs Wilkinson-Tough

Butterfly Feeders Download

Outdoor Learning Experiences 1 Shadow drawing, sun dials, an planting Download

Hapa Zome Download

Making a Sundial Download

Ojo de Dios Download

Outdoors Explorers Journal – Black and White Download

Examples of Andy Goldsworthy Download

I-Spy-Scavenger-Hunt-Checklist_ver_3 (1) Download

Butterfly ID-Guide Download

Outdoor Learning Experiences 2 Soil Science and Bugs Download

Minibeast-Hunt-and-Location-Recording-Sheet Download

KS2—Activity-at-School—School-Bug-Hunt Download

Minibeast-hunt-tally-sheet-_ver_2-1 Download

Parts of an insect activity Download

butterfly ID dial Download

Build your own Bug Hotel Download

Build your own Bug Hotel Download

Bluebells true or false activity sheet Download

Nature Weaving Download

Disect a Flower Download

parts-of-the-insect-activity Download

Bird Feeders Download

Nature Crowns Download

Birds
- Garden Birds Download
- Garden Bird Sightings Checklist Download
- British Birds Colouring Sheets Download
- Spring Birds Scavenger Hunt Download

Tree Explorer Activity Pack-2020 Download

Paint Made From Berries and Nature Download

Nature portrait Download

How to make elderflower cordial Download

Nibbles for the wild Download

Sun catchers Download

Elder Beads Download

Make a Leaf dial Download

leaf-id-sheet Download

Outdoor Learning Experiences Leaves Download

Art Easel Download

Wildlife Bingo Download

Make your own wildlife Drinking Pond Download

Tree Word Search Download

Fairy-House-Flowerpot Download

Nature Names Download

Journey Sticks Download

summer flowers Download

Make a nature mandala Download

Make your own bird hide Download

Nature Paint Brushes Download

Moth Watch Download

Dragon and Damsels ID Download

Summer Flowers 2 Download

Orchid DetectiveDownload

Make your own water filter. learn how to turn your muddy water clear and clean .

TREE-DECORATION Download

Cairns Stone Tower Download

Life cycle of a butterfly

Can you create your own life cycle of a butterfly or another animal or insect?

You could use things from nature or just from around your home to create your life cycle.

Nature Butterfly Art Inspiration Download