Forest School provides practical, play-based learning for boys, nurturing a connection between the environment and the activities themselves.
Sessions take place either onsite (for Years 1 and 2) in the Owls Den equipped with its own outdoors pizza oven or offsite (Years 3 and 4) utilising local woodlands including Deffer Woods and Silkstone Fall.
Through working in the outdoors, and with others, boys develop confidence and self-esteem; cooperation, communication and social skills; physical skills and healthier lifestyles; the ability to recognise and manage risk; motivation and a positive attitude to learning.
Boys have access to structured Forest School sessions led by QEGS JS staff throughout the academic year, which are eagerly anticipated and very much enjoyed.
Three elements of QEGS JS Forest School interweave to provide a rich and fulfilling experience.
‘Pure’ Forest School
This is the most important element and relates to the ethos described above. The focus is on social and emotional development through engagement with carefully controlled practical woodland tasks. Activities include bush craft, shelter building, rope work, tool use, the use of fire for cooking and story-telling and reflection.
To support academic excellence, we recognise the importance of drawing on the outdoor environment to teach key curriculum content and to apply elements learnt in the classroom. This includes topics such as Science (ecosystems, mini-beasts), Maths (measuring, calculating area/perimeter) and English (descriptive writing and poetry, though rich experiences to give purpose and background to writing).
Physical activity and movement are vital in any boy’s development, and particularly in a natural setting can create feeling of calm and make the brain more receptive to learning. Activities include orienteering, tracking games and team building style activities.