A Teesside school is helping its children build their physical and mental resilience by learning through experience in the outdoors, after forming a partnership with a local charity.
The Forest Sessions, which will run for six weeks each Monday and began on January 22nd, are based on the principle of learning being initiated by children themselves in a woodland setting. Thanks to a partnership with Norton Sports Charity, participating pupils, all of whom are in Year 1 at Red House School, will be able to use a new community forest facility.
The independent school for children aged 3-16 is also in the process of creating its own enchanting outdoor classroom so it can expand these activities in future.
Art teacher Claire Reily, the qualifying Forest School leader, explained: “As well as it being highly engaging, the benefits of outdoor learning include improvements to a child’s physical and mental health, as well as their social communication skills, fine motor skills, independence and resilience. It also helps children develop their own sense of personal responsibility and respect for the natural world.
“We really want to invest in helping our children develop in this way, so by the beginning of next year, we hope to have our outdoor classroom up and running in the Junior School, which will allow further exploration through outdoor learning.”
Activities as part of the Forest Sessions, which will take place for just under two hours each Monday morning, can include building shelters, dens, storytelling, natural weaving, feeding a fire, messy play, bush craft and more. The sessions are planned to take place regardless of the weather.
To find out more about Red House School and the sessions, please contact Claire Bellerby, Head of Admissions on 01642 558119. To find out more about the Forest School initiative, visit forestschoolassociation.org/.