Lisburn Central as a Forest School.
Forest School is a child-centered inspirational learning process.
The Northern Ireland Forest School Association encourages an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning and inspires local schools and organizations to become accredited Forest School practitioners.
To develop Outdoor Learning throughout our school Miss Cleland, as World Around Us Coordinator will be completing the Forest School Leader Award (Level 3) with her class. This opportunity has been provided by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and the aim is to promote more outdoor learning opportunities for all pupils over the next couple of years. For further information please visit their website on: www.nifsa.org.uk
Our P7B class made Bug Hotels with student teacher, Mr Cherry as part of their WAU - Outdoor Learning.
Why Forest School?
There are many benefits of Forest School Outdoor Learning:
- It focuses on the interests of the individual child. Learning is child centred, children can take charge of their own learning.
- It encourages each child to take their own risks in a safe manner, it highlights the importance of remaining safe.
- Getting outdoors and being active also has mental and emotional benefits, it can play to the children's strengths. Outdoor learning encourages social skills such as cooperation and negotiation as children can work together to problem solve and overcome obstacles.
- It encourages positive links between school and home as parents can join in with their children and engage with them whilst learning a new skill. Parents can become facilitators instead of directors.
The outdoor environment can also be:
- Very stimulating, allowing children to build upon their observational and investigative skills. When doing the same activity over a period of time this can increase confidence and self-esteem in the individual child because challenging but achievable tasks can be set.
- Helpful in promoting good relationships and forming positive links between school/home and the wider community. The local council equally can become involved. Thank you to LCCC for funding our new school venture. Our thanks goes to them in helping us begin our exciting new Forest School project.
- Very helpful in catering for a high quality of play-based outdoor learning. Children can explore and develop at their own pace of learning and enjoy getting outdoors to do this.
- Challenging, allowing the children to think in a creative way and helping them to learn how to problem solve within their natural environment. It has been argued that all aspects of the curriculum can be taught outside, stimulating the imagination and bringing many subjects to life in a very real way.
Brian Poots (NIFSA) states, "Teachers are starting to realize that the outdoors is a perfect environment for teaching the curriculum - all the resources are there - all of nature is outside."
Indeed in the current climate in which we find ourselves living in, there is no greater time to get outdoors and enjoy our wonderful world. Everything that we need is there and the benefits are limitless.
Through Forest School the whole curriculum can be taught outdoors. It is very much connected learning - Outdoor Play/Literacy/Numeracy/Art, it includes our whole school and school community.
The Northern Ireland Forest School Association (NIFSA), was established in 2008, since then the NIFSA has written and accredited the only nationally recognized Forest School Leader Level 3 qualification in Northern Ireland. NIFSA have directly contributed to thousands of children engaging with their natural world.
I have shared a variety of photographs to try and capture some of what we have been up to lately.
P4 collected the natural resources from their own school grounds to create absolutely amazing 3D clay hedgehogs. The results were awesome. Enjoy viewing their unique and individual creations!