The Haven – Outdoor Learning
At Wildmoor Heath, we know that our learners are stimulated by the outdoors and typically experience, over time, an increase in their self-confidence, learning capacity and emotional well-being.
The Forest School Association describes a Forest School setting as...
An inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Here at Wildmoor Heath, we are fortunate to have such an environment – named The Haven – within our grounds and we employ a specialist forest school teacher to run various activities and programmes for our children throughout the year. We are also uniquely positioned at the edge of a heathland nature reserve.
Every child gets several opportunities to benefit from using The Haven during their time at the school. Teachers are able to take the class into the area for outdoor curriculum learning and, in addition, children typically spend one afternoon a week with our Forest Schools teacher in The Haven or out on the heath for between 6 to 12 weeks (depending on the year group).
During sessions, children are taught safety rules and skills for using equipment (e.g. handsaws, loppers, vegetable peelers and bill hooks) and doing activities (e.g. tree climbing and making a fire). This allows them to take risks and push their boundaries in a responsible and controlled way.
The children learn about – and to respect – the natural world and get the chance to do activities such as whittling greenwood, cooking over fire, den building, mud kitchen, natural arts and crafts, planting/gardening, bug hunting and role play.
There are always opportunities for oracy, writing and applying mathematics skills too.
The Haven is used in all weathers except lightning and high winds. There is a wooden lodge on site which we use as a classroom in heavy rain.