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Outdoor Learning & Forest School

Outdoor Learning and Forest School

There is a shared ethos at The Vale Academy around the benefits of using the great outdoors to develop engaged and imaginative learners. We aim to train teachers to facilitate outdoor learning using the Forest School learning process. Forest School helps learners ‘to develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually.’

  • Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
  • Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • Principle 5: Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
  • Principle 6: Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.

Outdoor Learning is included in all pupils’ timetables. This is timetabled weekly and, in addition to this, teachers are actively encouraged to use the outdoor learning environment regularly.