Forest Schools

They pass this way only once, so we should aim to litter their pathways with quality experiences...

'Pupils enjoy coming to school, learning is exciting because topics are interesting'. Ofsted November 2018

Curriculum Intent
At Hodnet Primary School, we endeavour to provide a broad and balanced, but flexible, curriculum which meets the needs of our children, and enables every child to fulfil their potential. We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor our curriculum to the interests and needs of our children and involve the children in their own learning as much as possible. Our curriculum reflects our school aims for every child; encouraging positive relationships based upon mutual trust and respect whilst maintaining a ‘can do’ strive for success attitude. Our ambitious curriculum has been designed to follow the statutory requirements for all children from the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum. We ensure that children have the opportunity to experience the curriculum and express themselves as an individual.

The key principles behind our curriculum design are based on these wishes for our children:

To be happy, respectful and kind

To be confident with a strong sense of self-belief

To be resilient

To be excited and inspired by learning

To be an independent learner and a creative thinker

To have high aspirations

To be creative

To have eyes open to a world beyond their immediate surroundings

To be an effective communicator

To have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed

Forest School Principles 

Forest School is a long term holistic education ethos that uses the outside as a motivating and enabling environment. It is a child-centred learning approach encouraging children to learn outdoors and take risks within a safe, natural environment. It promotes self-esteem, confidence, creativity and independence.  At Hodnet School we are lucky to have our own unique Forest Schools area for pupils to enjoy and thrive in set within our extensive grounds. Regular sessions in the Forest Schools area enables supported risk taking, exploration and problem solving. The activities encourage children to further develop learning behaviours such as solving problems, finding resources, working with others and building on prior knowledge. Our Forest School environment is positive and nurturing, allowing all children to experience success. 

 Our Early Years and Key Stage One staff are trained practitioners and lead Forest Schools sessions on a weekly or fortnightly basis for our youngest pupils. Mrs Akers is our Forest School curriculum leader and can provide further information upon request. 

Children in classes 1 & 2 enjoy fortnightly sessions where they focus primarily on their Science curriculum and PHSE learning areas. Children in Reception class enjoy weekly Wednesday morning sessions in the Forest Schools area where they focus on all areas of the EY curriculum and interact with our imaginary Forest Fairies who leave the children problems to solve, tasks, projects and questions. 

As part of the Forest School experience, children participate in camp fires where they can toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate. The children also make good use of the Outdoor Nature Learning Hut for completing any tasks or group work. Our Forest Schools has defined areas, such as a mud kitchen, a digging pit, fire pit, learning logs, wild woodland, tree sculptures – currently a boat, a storytelling chair, writing tree, drawing tree, Fairy homes, musical wall, investigation areas, learning prompts within the trees and a forest trail path.

'Topics are planned to last throughout the term to promote deep learning'. Ofsted November 2018

'Leaders have created a broad and balanced curriculum that is built around pupils' interests, the local area and national curriculum requirements'. Ofsted November 2018

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