Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Interview with our Outstanding FS Practitioner Winner 2011/2012
I started my Level 3 training in April 2009.
What does Forest Schools mean to you?
Forest School is an awesome opportunity to bring together worthwhile learning opportunities and the natural environment, for our students. It also allows me to have the greatest "classroom" ever; the outdoors!
Are there moments that have made you particularly happy to have introduced Forest Schools to your setting?
The students who were initially allocated Forest School sessions have been empowered to reintegrate with mainstream pupils. Therefore I am particularly happy that we have supported our students to become more resilient and successful learners.
I am also particularly pleased that we have been able to engage pupils with complex needs, who perhaps struggle within the confines of more traditional teaching and learning.
Finally, I am proud that we have been able to support and enhance the Forest School provisions for our local primary schools. As we have shared our site, worked together on an eco-project and provided staff support.
How do you see your Forest School journey developing in the future?
We aspire to train additional Level 3 Forest School leaders so that we can continue to support our students. The training related to Beach School is certainly another avenue we will utilise. Lastly, it would be excellent if we could train students perhaps to Level 1 type status, similar to the model used in the sports coaching world, as we will then be producing the next generation of high quality Forest School Leaders!
What would you say to anyone thinking of starting Forest Schools?
A genuine passion for most things outdoors and high quality training are definitely the first steps towards establishing a Forest School provision. The next steps then need to be slow and considered. Keep group sizes small in order to gain confidence, and then let imagination and creativity from both students and leaders be the driving force. Huge groups and lots of expensive equipment do not guarantee beneficial Forest School experiences.
Thank you to Alan for the interview.