Forest School

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Forest School – Enriching The Context For Learning in a Natural Environment

At Rye we believe children need to learn from their own experience and this starts from an early age. Primary years at Rye are all about discovery, exploration and adventure and our Forest School provides ideal opportunities for children to undertake all three.

Under the expert guidance of Forest School Leader, Jo Reed, children from Nursery to Year 7 learn all kinds of practical skills in the richest classroom of all – the great outdoors.

The concept of Forest School originates in Scandinavia and it recognises the importance of allowing children contact with their natural surroundings. At Rye, we believe that learning should be both child-led and self-motivated and Forest School fits in beautifully with this philosophy. Children in Forest School are actively engaged in the learning process and a sense of personal and collective responsibility is developed. Pupils also learn to take pride in the environment and develop feelings of responsibility for it – an ethos they can take with them for life.

Each year group, starting from Nursery and completing at Year 7, is given the opportunity of weekly Forest School sessions and monthly Forest School Adventure Days amid the backdrop of Rye’s own beautiful 12 acres of woodland and lawns.

In Forest School, education is brought to life and children learn ancient and often forgotten skills including:

The Forest School experience at Rye gives pupils a chance to make choices and manage risks in a safe natural environment and each session enriches their learning and links to various areas of the curriculum. Although a relatively new teaching programme, Forest School is already renowned for building a pupil’s self-esteem, self-confidence, social skills, concentration and independence.

At Rye St Antony we value the importance of outdoor learning, not just as a Forest School but as members of the Woodland Trust, our support of the work of its eco-wardens and through our linked Gardening Club. We also contribute to the Oxfordshire eco-schools’ conferences.

Forest School offers practical education in a real life setting – far removed from theory.

We are very fortunate to be able to operate a Forest School on our own 12 acre site. To find out more about our Forest School or see it in action for yourself, contact our Head of Junior School and Forest School Leader, Jo Reed.