Risky Business

As a Forest School, we at Harlow Green want to enable our children to enjoy the benefits of risk, but also to develop the self knowledge to work within their own safe limits. It is a balance we achieve through combining taught skills, with application through play. Continuous observation is key to establish understanding of each child’s physical, emotional and behavioural boundaries and acts as a base future lesson development. Of course this is what the Forest Leader plans, the children meanwhile can let there minds and bodies express themselves freely, without apparent restrictions.

They made a fantastic start demonstrating their short stick safety training from  last week. Today they were given long sticks and branches. We discussed ‘worst case scenarios’ and acted a few out, then they experimented. Once the safest way was found they practiced before heading into the woods. You can see clearly how confident they became, working safely with some really unwieldy materials.

Whilst some children were building others wanted to learn about tree climbing. We chatter constantly and through questioning, the children are encouraged to make conscious decisions about this kind of activity.  How high do you think is too high?  If you did fall what could happen? How do you think the tree feels?

It was a brilliant morning, creativity in abundance, huge proud smiles and plenty of ideas about what they are planning for next week.

Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Article 3 – Everyone who works with children should always do what is best for the child.

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