Tameside Primary School

Tameside Primary School

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Forest School

Tameside Primary School launched our Forest School in 2013 with the support of Sandwell Forest School Initiative. Forest School compliments and enhances our current curriculum through utilising our fantastic outdoor spaces. Through weekly half day sessions and long term exposure that will encompass seasonal changes, we hope to give our children new experiences and opportunities with a child-led approach to learning where they can learn to take care of themselves, each other and the natural environment they are working in.

Through freely chosen experiences such as completing small individual and group tasks, learning new practical skills and role playing amongst many others, the children learn to become more creative and more resilient by taking risks and challenging themselves, as well as supporting each other.

We hope this programme will give our children opportunities that might not be readily available to them outside of school. In turn, we hope that their Forest School experiences will improve their attitude to school, their attainment and their future life chances by helping them to become valued members of their local and wider communities.

To measure impact of Forest School, we follow several case studies each year and use an Evaluation tool at start and end of each programme where children are observed and scored on a range of social and practical skills. We have noticed that attendance is better on the day of Forest School sessions than on the other days of the week as well as improvements in confidence, self-esteem, social skills, creativity and resilience.

Our current programme is used in year 5, where it has proved very popular and successful. However, we have started to use forest sessions for other year groups and have run holiday Forest Fun sessions to add to our growing approach to outdoor learning.