Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Little Wrens Forest School aims to support children's mental and physical health, providing support for their development through play and immersion in the great outdoors. Connection to nature is invaluable to boost self esteem, independence, confidence, resilience and the ability to manage and handle risk taking.
Our sessions follow the Forest School Principles and involve learning how to light a fire, use tools, tie knots, build dens, climb trees, learn about habitats and the environment, develop social skills and resilience, as well as having lots of fun!!
The sessions are run by Jacquie Gilchrist, a fully qualified level 3 Forest School Leader with an outdoor First Aid qualification, who has a passion for the outdoors. She has experience of working with children with additional needs, a background in Early Years and has recently achieved the Certificate in Therapeutic Skills for Outdoor Leaders.
Our staff share Jacquie's passion and ethos, helping to deliver fun and supportive Forest School sessions. All staff and volunteers hold an enhanced DBS check and are familiar with the health and safety aspects required to make the sessions safe and secure.
What is Forest School?
It is an opportunity for children and young people to enjoy and connect with nature. To dig, discover, bug-hunt, cook, climb, play with sticks, use tools, make mud pies, play with peers and develop their own interests.
Forest School is a long-term process where children have time to immerse themselves in an environment that becomes familiar to them. It's an opportunity for participants to develop an appreciation and respect for their environment.
What do children get out of coming to Forest School?
Managed Risk-taking in a safe and supportive environment boosts confidence and self-esteem.
An understanding and appreciation of the natural world to develop future environmental respect
Skill development - fine motor skills in creative activities and gross motor skills with whole body movement
Improved social skills, working and playing with friends, working and learning together
Self-directed learning and time for deep engagement in play.
What happens at Forest School?
On arrival we sit together and start our session by looking at our values, discussing boundaries and rules and finding out how we are all feeling.
Children are free in their decision making and have opportunities to risk assess for themselves. They will always know they can come to the adults in the session for support. However, children know best how they wish to play and explore. The adults are there as facilitators, not to interfere.
At Forest School we give the children freedom to truly engage with their own ideas and we aim wait until we are invited to join them!
We end our sessions by getting together in our circle... Sometimes the fire may be lit. We reflect on the session and these reflections determine our following session and we plan to embrace and pursue the children's interests.