At Marden Primary Academy all pupils have the opportunity to engage in the Forest Schools programme through activities in our extensive and beautiful country grounds. We view this as an essential and integral part of our approach to teaching where children can grow in confidence; better understand the world around them; to learn about risk taking; to participate in team work and cultivate closer friendships with one another, and to benefit physically and emotionally as a whole person. The principles and ethos of this approach are explained further in the following paragraphs.
This learner-centred approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every Forest School session and programme with discovery and difference. Yet each programme does also share a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers.
These principles were first articulated by the Forest School Community in 2002. They were reviewed in 2011 and sent out for a 5-month consultation to Forest School networks and practitioners in all UK nations. They were published on the Institute for Outdoor Learning Forest School SIG page in Feb 2012, and in the minutes of the GB trainers’ network. This ethos creates learning communities where deep-level learning and progression are the norm.