For the past two years and more I have been working for two days a week in very different Key Stage 1 settings. This has provided me with a unique opportunity to develop both new materials and new approaches to working with children outdoors.
Typically, the sessions are between an hour and an hour and a half long. They take place in the school grounds or nearby park spaces – so the approaches are designed for cost-effective delivery without the problems of transporting children or hiring off-site Forest School spaces.
Working with a volunteer assistant or TA I typically see between 12 and 15 children at a time. This means in a morning or afternoon session I work with the entire class in half groups.
The winning formula combines story, games, making activities and engaging with the environment. Over time a body of new lessons has emerged that should offer new ways of embedding Forest School with the broader curriculum. I am currently working with an illustrator to develop the materials. I anticipate publication Spring 2017.