Littlegreen is lucky to have wonderful outdoor spaces including our own woodland which we use for Forest School and Bushcraft. Forest School is based on a Scandinavian idea that recognises the importance of a child or young person’s contact with nature. Littlegreen has built Forest School into the curriculum and the vast majority of our pupils have a timetabled session at least once a week throughout the year and some have daily access as part of their personalised programmes. We are lucky to have two trained Forest School staff and the team is led by Pierre Nollier who is highly experienced both in his Forest School role but also in supporting boys with social and emotional difficulties.
We use Forest School as part of our therapeutic approach to supporting our pupils with complex social, emotional and health needs and research shows us that the benefits of the outdoors and connecting with nature can have a really positive impact.
We find that Forest School helps pupils to:
- Self regulate, reflect and be calm
- Develop their self confidence and self esteem by carrying out small achievable challenges and tasks
- Increase their self belief, their learning capacity, enthusiasm and problem solving skills
- Develop communication skills and social interaction
- Enjoy the sensory experiences provided by the outdoor environment and the activities
- Successfully manage significant changes and challenges including life challenges
- Develop enterprising behaviour and leadership skills
- Connect positively with the outdoors and natural spaces
Our pupils enjoy a wide range of activities from identifying trees and plants to building dens and cooking meals. Each session inevitably concludes with a hot drink (usually hot chocolate) and now we have a pizza oven they can create their very own Littlegreen pizzas.