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Henshaws College - Forest School

Woodland adventures to enhance learning

Forest school is a unique educational experience. It offers students the opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.

Students engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year, in almost all weathers. They will work with tools, play, learn and begin to understand the boundaries of both physical and social behaviour.

What happens at Forest School?

Forest school works on a continuum – visits build over many weeks, all weathers, all seasons. Early sessions focus on ensuring a sound basis and understanding of health and safety routines. Once these are established sessions become more flexible, leading to freedom within reasonable boundaries.

The sessions will then involve practical, hands-on activities which aim to build up students’ skills, abilities and confidence week on week.

Forest School activities

Forest school uses natural resources to stimulate imagination, creativity and investigation. Activities can include:

  • Shelter building
  • Natural art
  • Using knots and lashings
  • Fire lighting
  • Animal tracking
  • Bug hunts
  • Tree investigations
  • Climbing and balancing
  • Woodwork with tools
  • Creating bug homes and bird feeders
  • Team games

Where is the Forest School?

We’re lucky to be surrounded by lots of beautiful countryside at college, and the forest school takes places in a small woodland area in the north of the grounds.

Who runs the Forest School?

It’s run by a team of three who are working towards their Level 3 Award for Forest School Practitioners.

What are the benefits of Forest School?

For students at Henshaws, attitudes to learning are improved as they find that it can be fun and enjoyable. This positive outlook is then transferred to the classroom where they are found to be more motivated and able to concentrate better.

Forest School can also:

  • Develop physical abilities and help participants to stay active and healthy
  • Heighten self-awareness and improve emotional and social skills.
  • Promote co-operative and group working
  • Encourage participants to take care of themselves and others
  • Foster care, appreciation and respect for wildlife and wild places
  • Broaden knowledge and understanding of the natural world.
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