What is Forest School?
Forest School is the same group of learners and leaders spending a sustained period outdoors, once a week, in a wooded environment, ideally year round. A regular routine is followed that is learner-led and facilitated by trained leaders. Learning is holistic and closely related to developmental stage and regular curricular requirements. There must be a high ratio of leaders to learners, everyone must be suitably dressed and a risk/benefit approach to health and safety is followed by all.
(taken from the Irish Forest School Association website)
Please see our Forest School Policy document here
Drinking freshly made nettle tea
What do we do?
Every one of the 12 primary curricular subjects is covered in Forest School, and more! At the heart of each session is the holistic development of the child, including equally the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, moral and spiritual. Through the activities, the Forest School leader aims to facilitate deep nature connection for the children.
We play nature games, sing songs, make climbing structures from trees and ropes, build shelters, make fires, use tools to make crafts, write poetry, meditate in our ‘sit spots’, identify plants and animals, solve problems and listen to stories (just to name a few activities). We learn to use skills of our ancestors that have been lost in our modern lives: peripheral vision, survival skills, foraging (knowing which plants we can eat and which we can’t), running over uneven terrain and, best of all, making our own fun with nothing but the trees and some basic tools!
Building a shelter
Forest School at Riverview
In Riverview, from Senior Infants, all children participate in Forest School. In each group, there is a ratio of 15 children to at least two adults, one a trained Forest School leader. We are very lucky to have a beautiful dedicated Forest School area in Tymon Park just 10 minutes walk from the school, and we are grateful to the park keepers there for their support. Our Senior Infants teacher Róisín Dexter is a Forest School leader and coordinates the programme.