St. Dominic Forest School
Our Forest School Ethos
We are committed to providing a high quality education, giving our pupils opportunities to realise their potential and develop their full uniqueness. To help us to achieve this, we have introduced Forest School provision into our curriculum, giving our pupils opportunities to grow and develop spiritually, emotionally, physically, and socially in the natural world around them.
At St Dominic School, we believe a holistic approach to outdoor play and learning gives children the opportunity to explore and achieve their full potential, and develop skills and attitudes which can then be transferred into everyday life.
At our Forest School, positive experiences of the natural environment promote the personal, social and emotional well-being of the individual, by improving their physical, social and communication skills, increasing their self-esteem and confidence, and nurturing their emotional and spiritual development. As Christians, we are stewards of the natural world and it is our duty to protect and look after God’s creation. Our Forest School teaches respect for nature and the importance of sustainability, and invites children to connect with nature in a meaningful and mutually beneficial way.
St Dominic School believes learning that is based on experience and the acquisition of skills, rather than outcomes, promotes motivation, values contribution and encourages the engagement and participation of all.
In 2019 - 2020, a cycle of Forest School sessions were mapped out for Nursery, Year 1, Year 3 and Year 6 pupils to provide the children in these year groups with transition support.
Measuring the impact of our Forest School
Results from our Parent Survey 2020:
We received 37 responses from parents.
100% of parents who responded agreed that their child had benefitted from the sessions.
Whilst most of the children who took part in the programme already enjoyed the outdoors, following the sessions, 24% of children who did not previously enjoy the outdoors now enjoy being outside in all weathers.
What did children enjoy about Forest School?
Being outdoors, making things with natural materials and learning new skills.
My child found Forest School very interesting and enjoyable. In particular she enjoyed being outdoors, learning about plants, ecology and respecting the environment. She loved the creative aspects too.
Being outside. Learning about nature and the world around them. Being hands on, doing things with their hands and being creative. The fact they can move, and touch and feel things. Learning without realising they are learning - it feels like playing.