If you go down to the woods today – you’ll find a group of young children from Ramsgate Arts Primary enthralled in their latest learning adventure.
The Reception year group has been inspired by six morning sessions and picnic lunches under the trees at Manor House Forest School and Farm on the Quex Park estate at Birchington.
Activities have included magic wand making, working with tools, enjoying the Gruffalo story and going on a forest hunt, a scavenger leaf hunt, bug hunt, creating mud kitchen recipes, wood cookies, toasting marshmallows by the open fire and making habitats for animals.
Sophie Spurrier is Head of Early Years at RAPS. She said: “The Manor House forest school has been an invaluable experience for our children and learning outside has really helped them to develop their confidence, speaking and listening skills, independence, social skills and much more.
“We have loved watching the children grow and we feel that this has given them the skills needed to take them throughout their school life and we cannot wait to do the forest school adventure again next year.
“The children always bring the skills they have learnt back into the classroom and continue the learning in the school setting. The staff have been absolutely fantastic with the children and the range of engaging activities they have provided have suited the RAPS topics and linked to the Early Learning goals.
“Our children have ended the experience with new friendships, confidence and the drive to learn.”
Parent Naomie, whose son Louie took part in the RAPS forest school project, was impressed with what she found when she visited the site with other parents. She said: “Louie absolutely loved it – he couldn’t wait to get to the forest school sessions. It is a brilliant opportunity for a different way to learn, discover and have fun. It is a great life experience for the children.”
The forest school idea is based on a Scandinavian concept of embracing the outdoors, giving children a wonderful and rare opportunity to enjoy nature and the outdoors in a safe, secure and hands-on woodland environment all year round and in all weather.
The main outcomes the school aims to deliver include confidence, social skills, language and communication, motivation and concentration, physical skills, knowledge and understanding, new perspectives and the ripple effect.
Head of RAPS Nick Budge said: “It is a valuable aid to our learning programme at RAPS. It has underpinned our various teaching methods in a number of ways and it helps inspire creativity and imagination, and motivates communication.”
Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Junior School and Chilton Primary School.