Forest School at Bents Green
A potted history
In the 1930’s Bents Green School became one of the first Open Air Schools for children with fragile health conditions in the country. We are extremely lucky that the school occupies a site containing a wide range of tree species including native and a few exotic specimens with predominantly mature trees. According to the tree inspection report commissioned by the school in 2015 one of the mature trees rivals the dimensions of the largest in the country. (A Cut Leaf Beech)
During the “Noughties” (2000’s) Land Based Learning became an integral part of the school curriculum. Students were introduced to horticulture and participated in practical sessions based around the school garden. When the school was rebuilt under the BSF programme a specialist outdoor learning teaching classroom was included.
Today we are applying the Forest Schools ethos to enjoy the school grounds in a more holistic way. We have worked hard to develop the school growing garden which is used as the base for our Forest School sessions. As a learning community we strive to provide bespoke personalised learning opportunities and the learner-led approach of Forest School is a perfect way to achieve this.
Most of our sessions take place in the school grounds. However we sometimes use the Common Land on Common Lane. During the last 2 years we have been developing a strong partnership with Mayfield Alpacas and some groups spend their sessions on site at Ringinglow.
Our Aims of our Forest School sessions are;
* To facilitate personalised learning opportunities outside the confines of the classroom
* To develop personal, social and emotional skills
* To develop levels of communication, social interaction and independence
* To encourage and inspire individuals through positive experiences in a woodland environment
* To provide engaging and motivating achievable activities over a period of time
* To promote an increased sense of responsibility and understanding of the world
* To foster healthy connections with nature
* To provide a multi-sensory and inclusive ethos