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Forest School

How we deliver Forest School at Bents Green School

Year 7 classes are offered Forest School sessions on a half-termly carousel. Each class has 3 half term blocks. 

Nurture groups including Sycamore classes have weekly sessions which have features of Forest School. 

Phase 3 groups are offered Forest School sessions on a half-termly carousel. Each class has 2 half term blocks. 

Some sessions take place at Mayfield Animal Park which are not classed as Forest School sessions due to timings and how they involve interaction with the animals. 

What we want our students to achieve 

"To encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive experiences and participation in engaging and motivating achievable activities in a woodland environment, helping to develop personal, social and emotional skills." Forest Schools Association 

Our specialist provision at Bents Green School aims to; 

  • Be learner led and provide a holistic approach 

  • Give priority to teaching communication, social interaction and self-care skills  

  • Be based on functional skills and life skills  

  • Develop sensory integration 

  • Incorporate physical activity, reduce levels of stress and anxiety and to lessen disruptive behaviours 

  • Be specialised in its organisation 

  • Nurture a positive relationship with the natural environment in real life situations bringing lasting benefits 

  • Fulfil many of the Learning Outside the Classroom manifesto objectives 

  • Provide endless opportunities for experiential, contextual and applied education.  

What difference is the Forest School curriculum making to our students

It develops the whole person with its holistic approach. 

Promotes intrinsic health benefits of being outside and moving. 

Promotes understanding of the interconnectedness of life and sustainability 

Supports communication and social interaction through structured routines. 

Aids positive communication between peers, strengthened friendships and builds resilience and self-confidence.

Provides a structured environment that is “safe enough” to take risks. 

Promotes connections with the natural world. 

Encourages creativity and independent thinking skills ..

With highly engaging activities such as fire lighting and tool use, it facilitates concentration, motivation and develops self-esteem. 

Allows many opportunities for multi-sensory learning experiences improving sensory function. 

Can link to any curriculum area and can be used to achieve goals on EHCPs 

Iy is highly inclusive, allowing for participants with most complex needs.

Some examples of success; 

Selective mute student talking outside. 

Students with OCD and agoraphobia overcoming anxieties by being outside, parents reporting positive changes in behaviour at home .

Students who find inside environments particularly challenging thrive outside. 

Record of students who have history of non-attendance at school being highly motivated by outdoor sessions. 

Reports of stronger friendships and fewer instances of serious incidents as a direct result of Forest School sessions. 

Student who refuses to engage with Food Tech lessons loves cooking outside. 

Highly anxious students are more relaxed and engaged during outdoor sessions.