Forest School at Holiday Academy is an inspirational alternative learning experience which takes place on a regular basis outdoors in natural settings and across all seasons. We have Forest school programmes for ages 6+ and for 3-5s.
The children leave the Holiday Academy venue in groups with a Forest school leader + assistant to spend the day outside. They begin the day making a ‘base camp’ and gathering together in a circle where the introductions are made (one person speaking at a time, holding the speaking stick!). This sets the tone for the group where everyone’s contribution is important, encouraged and valued. Through a carefully planned program of achievable tasks, play and activities including den/shelter building, fire lighting, outdoor cooking, team games, wood work, tool use, and nature-based craft, each participant has an opportunity to learn about and connect to the natural environment, problem solve, and enjoy being part of a team. It looks at each child individually and molds the sessions around the children to enable self-esteem, independence, and creativity to flourish in the fresh air. To finish the session the children gather again in a circle to round off the day, express how they are feeling, and then return back to Holiday Academy.
Forest school can be cross linked to academic teaching having a positive effect in the class room, at home, and in the community. For children today who may have limited opportunity to explore and be part of the nature world, Forest School can be the link to investigating and experiencing these magical places. You will find your children bringing home sticks to whittle, with rosy cheeks and sleeping super well at night!
Forest School for 6+ 10am-4pm with wrap around available
Forest school for 3-5s 9.45am-3pm with wrap around available
Each day is linked so we recommend booking for the entire week for maximum benefit and group dynamics. Some of the children choose Forest school each holiday and the Forest School leaders recognize this and include it in their planning. The nature of Forest school is to be inclusive so any new child just fits straight into the group.
The children are picked up from the Holiday Academy venue by the Forest school leaders and dropped back later in the day. If the weather is bad they will make cozy shelters with tarpaulin sheets, and contingency plans are in place if it is truly awful! There is the old adage there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing! All Forest schoolers need to be dressed in good, water proof clothing with well fitting water proof shoes/boots and please be prepared for very muddy, happy children (who will sleep super well)! The children can always change into dry, clean clothes and shoes on arrival back to Holiday Academy.
With the Forest School activities, the children are free to be outside all day, the older ones going on excursions to Camley Nature reserve and local parks, using public transport to access Hampstead Heath and all the great spaces further afield, and the younger ones going to Regent’s park and Primrose hill park. They will have a better appreciation for nature, themselves, and also just how important it is to preserve this beautiful world we live in!
We are especially pleased with our Holiday Academy Forest School because we love getting out to see and experience new things. From taking the children to find a great mud slide, or finding a huge space to just run, or something really specific like checking out some Great Crested Newts there is always something thrilling going on that the kids adore! The urban experience can be so grown up, it’s wonderful to have an opportunity to get back into simply having fun outside. This can also be built on from holiday to holiday.
Kids between the ages of 3 and 12 years are just learning about this big globe we live on, so the Holiday Academy Forest school for kids brings them to places that open whole new worlds to them, and augment what they learn at school. At Holiday Academy we love to promote practical independent skills for children – learning how to walk safely and responsibly in a group (wearing hi viz vests), looking at maps, and negotiating the London Transport system, looking after their belongings, but also social independence, resilience and working as a team, guided – of course – by our experienced staff.