Life at Oaklands
When we ask the children what they love about Oaklands, an answer that comes up again and again is the grounds. We are lucky to have two playgrounds, a school field and an adjoining paddock with its own forest area. Since September 2014 the Oaklands’ team and our working party of dedicated parents have developed the grounds to make them accessible and prime for learning. We’ve added a fire pit area, wildlife walk, bug hotels, nature signs, mud kitchens and an outdoor classroom.
The Ethos of Oaklands’ Forest School.
Forest School encourages the children to explore the outdoors through their own ideas and imagination. Most activities are child led and allow the children to investigate and problem-solve thus developing pupils who are independent and self-motivated. Activities are planned in small manageable steps, that we scaffold, to encourage children develop specific skills at their own pace and level. Children of all abilities are able to enjoy and learn at Forest School and we aim to maximise emotional, social and behavioural development. By helping children to succeed in their task, we see boosts their self-esteem and confidence. Every child has their own special qualities and strengths; Forest Schools can help them build on these and develop new skills with confidence.
Activities at Oaklands
Oaklands we encourage children to carry out various activities in groups, pairs and on their own. They can play hide and seek, build dens, make mud sculptures and faces, go bug hunting, collect and sort various natural items, make paints from natural resources (creating their own works of art) paint pictures, use a range of tools and tell stories to each other. These are all fun and exciting ways to keep healthy and learn about the environment. We allow children time to explore their feelings, thoughts and relationships at Forest School. This emotional development goes hand-in-hand with them developing an understanding of the world and environment. All pupils have the opportunity to experience Forest School’s education during their time at Oaklands.
All activities are fully risk assessed, including the use of sharp tools and building fires. Sessions are led by a Level 3 certified Forest School practitioner.