Forest School

Westcott Forest SchoolWestcott has it’s own dedicated woodland area which has been developed as a Forest School.  This is for use by the Westcott school children and can be hired by other community organisations outside of school hours and subject to terms and conditions.  If you are interested in hiring the Forest School facilities please view the letting policy documents for more details on how to do so.

Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland or natural environment with trees. Forest School is a specialised approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland learning.  The Westcott Forest School Handbook 2013 and Risk Assesment have more details about using the area.

Forest School Leader

Class Teacher, Mrs Goodman, is our Forest School leader.

“Before I came to Westcott I had previously attended Forest School sessions with an Oxfordshire school and could see how beneficial the experience could be. Therefore, when offered the chance to attend the level 3 Forest School course I was eager to take up the opportunity.

I truly believe in the concept of ‘the best classroom as being one that has no windows and doors.’ In Forest School children are given the ability to not only learn about the world around them, but take natural risks. It also gives children the opportunity to develop their independence whilst being aware of safety and the consequences to their actions. Forest School can help to develop many social skills such as communication and teamwork and can be used for many aspects of the curriculum. For example we have a safety hedgehog who told us all about hibernating and we have been able to develop physical skills through tying knots. Forest School helps open up the curriculum whilst allowing children to create their own learning experiences.

If your community group is interesting in using Forest School please get in touch or read the Lettings Policy.

How Forest School Came into Being…

The development of Westcott Forest School was funded by the Parents and Friends Association.  The PFA applied for a grant from the Buckinghamshire Community Fund and received £1800 towards the outbuildings and equipment for the school. The cheque was presented at the school by The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire who arrived on horseback!

As a result of the vision and hard work put into the forest school, the School’s Headteacher, Mr Grace received an award on behalf of the School from the High Sheriff “in recognition of great and valuable services to the community”. These are some of the wonderful things read out at the ceremony:

…The idea of a forest school is one that I think should be championed by every school that can.  It takes learning, that can sometimes be difficult to grasp as a young child or, dare I say a little dull to the brain of a four-year-old, to a new environment where they can interact with nature and learn things in a new, more exciting surrounding … right now it is helping give these children the fun and rewarding education that every child deserves, but it is also creating lasting memories for them that they will look back on with such joy.

The biggest credit to your school however, are the pupils themselves.  We were so overwhelmed by our welcome on the ride, with smiling faces, waves and banners, it may be the closest we’ll ever feel to being a celebrity! … ”  Read the complete transcript.