Our Year 6 children are now very experienced in the practical skills of Forest School, they have worked hard to develop positive communication strategies and have a confidence and sense of ownership when working outside.
From September they have been running their own Forest School sessions.
They split themselves into teams, then devised activities for their own team or for delivery to younger children. This has covered a large range of different challenges, some creative (fairy bracelets, potion making), others more practical in nature, (cleaning out and disinfecting the hen house, assembling the fire pit). They have had to resource their own activities, time manage, risk assess and ensure their communication is clear and accessible at all times. When delivering sessions to younger children they had to liaise with nursery and reception staff to ensure they had appropriate sized groups and were aware of any additional needs the children may have.
They spent time in class deciding on a list of potential activities, they then went out onto the site to assess whether initial preparation work was required before a task could be run. The fire pit for example had become overgrown in the summer holidays, this meant teams had to work to clear and reassemble it before any cooking could take place. Safety equipment had to be itemized and checklists prepared to ensure correct fire safety procedure was followed.
When planning activities for delivery to younger children thought had to be given to how communication may need to change to make instructions accessible.
After each session children are encouraged to reflect and assess on the success of outcomes. They then use this information to amend their planning for the following week. By questioning themselves about what has gone well and then what went wrong so over the last 6 weeks they have honed their skills.