Welcome to Eglinton's Forest School
Eglinton Primary School is very fortunate to have a large area of land on site that is designated for Forest School use. A smaller Forest School (‘the eucalyptus site’) is also being developed for the use of our youngest pupils.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is based on a desire to use the outdoors to facilitate learning in a calm, active and purposeful atmosphere.
Through good outdoor play all children can benefit as it stimulates the senses and allows for children to respond and act / behave in an individual way. Forest School is a holistic experience for all.
Forest School has been running in other areas of this country for several years. Greenwich is the first London Borough to initiate the scheme. The ethos of Forest School is based on child-led work and the emphasis is on observing and developing children’s skills through their own learning styles.
Children learn the importance of boundaries and trust which encourages independence and respect. This raises self-esteem and promotes confidence.
In this type of outdoor environment, it is known that communication develops and cooperation and working / playing with others improves in fun and relaxed surroundings. This makes for happy, healthy and resilient children!
Health and Safety
Risk assessments have been carried out for the area and the Forest School Leader always makes a safety sweep of the Forest School area before each session.
The Forest School Leader is First Aid trained (Paediatric and Outdoors) as well as having attended and passed intensive training regarding tool use.
Parents and carers are asked to be mindful of weather conditions and are asked to dress their children appropriately. It is suggested that the following clothing must be worn during Forest School sessions:
- Woolly hat / sun hat
- Jacket / waterproof coat
- Fleece / sweatshirt
- Long trousers
- Spare socks
- Stout shoes / wellies / boots
The school provides waterproof trousers and coats and we have wellies available to borrow in the event that any child might forget to bring their own.
Here is a gallery of some recent photos of the children exploring and learning in Forest School:
Health and Safety
Risk assessments have been carried out for the area in consultation with the Health and Safety Officer (Premises Manager of the school). A Health and Safety handbook will be taken to Forest School, each week, with medical records and contact details for everyone taking part.
The Health and Safety handbook also contains information on emergency procedures. The Forest School Leader will make a safety sweep of the Forest School area before taking the children each week.
The Forest School Leader has attended and passed intensive training regarding tool use.
Visiting Eglinton’s Forest School
If you would like to visit the Forest School site to see the space that we use, or if you are able to volunteer your time to support a class visiting Forest School, you would be most welcome. Please contact the School Office to arrange this or to find out more.
We are very pleased to welcome training providers Forest School Learning Initiative (www.fsli.co.uk), who will be using Eglinton’s Forest School site for part of their course delivery in Greenwich. Our Forest school leaders will support FSLI to deliver skill-specific training to professionals who are working towards a qualification as either Forest School Assistant (Level 2) or Forest School Leader (Level 3).
Here is a really nice, thought-provoking document written by the National Trust about children’s experiences and the impact / benefits of interacting with nature throughout childhood: Natural Childhood
This was recently shared at a course delivered by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. Comments and thoughts are always welcome.