We are very fortunate that Hever is surrounded by nature. We are inspired to embrace this opportunity for learning and make Forest School a core part of our school culture. We have use of a wonderful woodland site adjacent to the school, as well as our on-site nature area.
Forest School builds on a child's innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to initiate play, make choices and learn from their mistakes. Regular Forest School sessions provide opportunities for children to develop self-awareness, self- confidence, social skills forming positive relationships and develop strategies in order to take risks within the boundaries of safety. The setting allows children to engage with the natural environment, offering a unique teaching and learning experience in an ever-changing landscape.At Hever we offer weekly Forest School sessions for early years Reception and a term based rolling programme of sessions across all other year groups.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 is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.' (Forest School Association)
Hever CEP Forest School ETHOS
- Our Forest School ethos at Hever Church of England Primary School, is centered around respect of the learner and their ability to explore, investigate and discover the natural environment that surrounds them.
- By allowing the children to develop through their right to play, we encourage and develop life experiences across a holistic healthy range of emotions, through social interaction, ability to access risk and build resilience as well as encourage and develop imaginative play, creativity, and learn new skills and discover new experiences, all in a natural outdoors environment.
- Whilst there is an element of structure to the sessions, Forest School is child centred, we accept unplanned and unexpected learning experiences are to be encouraged. The Leader observes how the children respond to their surroundings and peer group in the outdoors and plans in the moment to develop this.
- The woodland setting is central to this dynamic way of learning through the changing of the seasons and natural changes to the environment. Children are able to discover and investigate a wealth of stimuli, such as smell, texture, sound, visual and sense. Forest School also develops children’s understanding of the global, historical, cultural, spiritual, mythological association of the forest woodland through time and how best to respect, maintain and ultimately appreciate this natural environment for generations to come.