The Impact of Forest School for the children is the knowledge they gain from the Forest School experience.

The impact can be seen through the skills, tools used, art and craft activities, observations and knowledge of the fruit, plants and trees in relation to the seasons and the skills involved in learning how to play Forest School games.

Having learned about maps and using compasses to determine directions at The Ashdown Forest on the previous day, Willow Class set out with maps of the village and compasses.

At points along the route, the class stopped and checked which orientation they were heading in. They played a game with directions, jumping to turn to face North, South, East and West.

We walked a different direction to the woods, to plant a section of new hedge. The children each planted a blackthorn sapling, and protected it from rabbits and deer grazing with a stick and tree guard.

They learned to identify the blackthorn by its thorns, blueberries in the autumn and white blossom in the spring. They will be back throughout the year and years to check on their success and see the year round cycle of its growth.

Once in the woods, the children set out to explore their individual interests. At the end of the session, they shared what they had enjoyed and engaged in.

“I liked weaving”
“I liked building dens with my friends”
“I made a bag rack from a branch and a root”
“I liked climbing and balancing on the ropes”
“I was unblocking the stream and digging out mud and leaves, it was fun”
“I like using the maps and compass”
“I loved the hedge planting”
“I liked making a clay sculpture of a rabbit”
“I liked reading my book at Forest School”

A massive thanks to the Woodland Trust for the hedge plants and to our brilliant volunteers who support the children to allow them to go to Forest School every week!