Visiting our ‘Future Forest’
Visiting the forest is a fun way of exploring and experiencing the environment through child initiated or child directed learning. Many children and adults are used to learning in a structured way. Visiting the forest allows learning through play and in settings not always previously experienced. There are opportunities to take risks and learn in settings with wider boundaries. Such visits fire the imagination of each individual to have a sense of awe and wonder of the natural world and achievement in their own skills.
We are lucky enough to have access to a large area of land owned by our Chair of Governors, which we are developing into a ‘future forest’. Every child in school, and many local residents all planted a tree there in 2019 and we are all enjoying watching eagerly as these change and grow throughout the seasons. It is very special to think that your child will be able to visit this forest when they are grown up and still see their tree and know that they have made a difference to the village and the environment. For now, the area is a large meadow and each class will be visiting at least once a week.
This year, our Friends of Naburn PTA will be raising funds to further improve the ‘future forest’. Ideas we have had so far include more den building equipment, better clipboards and magnifying glasses, more observation equipment to look closely at mini-beasts and flowers and a selection of fiction and non-fiction books to share and enjoy. We will be having a non-uniform day on November 6th to celebrate National Outdoor Learning Day. Children have been asked to bring in a donation and will be enjoying outdoor learning and raising money at the same time!
Where is our ‘forest’?
Our ‘forest’ is a short walk away across the main road and down a small lane. There is a huge amount of potential for learning there and our children and staff truly appreciate the opportunities available to us. It now has a storytelling area and a den building area and we look forward to it developing further as time goes on. We are even digging a pond!
Why do we visit the ‘forest’?
The forest helps to develop a range of skills including: self-awareness, respect for the environment, intrinsic motivation, communication and language, empathy, social skills, independence, a positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence.
Over this coming year, we plan to visit the forest to enhance the children’s learning, for example we might make ‘traps’ for Burglar Bill or a house for the Three Little Pigs. In science, we might make wind chimes and in art we might make pictures from items collected there. The world is our oyster!
This term Willow Class have been learning about the Stone Age, so they have been busy working together to create a Stone Age dwelling, so learning about materials as well as teamwork and bringing history to life.
We have also taken part in whole school den building days, led by an expert, which have taken place on our large village field. Here children have learnt skills of team work, construction and perseverance, as well as learning about waterproofing, weather proofing and also having fun!
Animal of the Week Each week, when we all visit our ‘future forest’, Mr Norris will be focusing on one British wild animal. If you would like some extra homework, then your child could research this animal and produce a fact-file or poster about it and upload it onto Seesaw. The animals will be discussed at the forest session each Friday.
Animals are as follows:
w/b 2nd Nov – hedgehog
w/b 9th Nov – kingfisher
w/b 16th Nov – lizard
w/b 23rd Nov – dragonfly
w/b 30th Nov – toad
w/b 7th Dec – basking shark
w/b 14th dec – robin