"Do Everything In Love" 1 Corinthians 16 :14

Nature School

At Ide Hill CE School everything we do is driven by our school vision "Do everything in Love" and our associated values of Respect, Love and Responsibility. 
We seek the abundant life that Jesus promises for all (John 10:10) and as such we have chosen to adopt 

Through the provision of Forest School at Ide Hill, we support the children to connect with nature in a wide variety of ways ~  to listen to it, to have adventures in it, to wonder at its beauty, adaptability and diversity, to play in it, to respect it, to create with it, to observe it, to share it with others, to be still in it, to breathe it in, to loose ourselves in it, to find ourselves in it and to learn from it. 

We understand that being in nature is an honour, a rite and an essential part of human life. We are part of nature and nature is part of us.

During their time at Ide Hill, each child will have Forest School sessions run by experienced and dedicated Forest School providers. During the course of their Forest School experience they will develop their woodland crafting skills, their understanding of the local Flora and Fauna and their connection to nature with all the opportunities and adventures that offers. The sessions will follow the children's interests and seasonal themes. Building on knowledge and experience from one year to the next and providing opportunities for meaningful child-lead learning which deeply supports the development of dispositions for learning such as: focus, resourcefulness, empathy, courage and self-belief

Progression in Skills and Knowledge in Forest School

 At Ide Hill, it is important to acknowledge that Nature School is a child-lead experience. The holistic approach taken, genuinely ensures that children feel trusted to follow their own interests, support their own needs and take responsibility for them self.  This in turn supports the development of dispositions for learning such as: focus, resourcefulness, empathy, courage and self-belief which are a key aspect of the school’s vision and their growth mindset approach. By providing a rich curriculum we aim for all pupils to experience the “abundant life” to which Jesus refers in John 10:10 which will enable pupils to flourish.

 With this in mind it is not appropriate to create a chronological table of progression in skills and knowledge from one year to the next, as each child's needs and motivations will differ throughout their school life. What the Nature School Leaders are able to do is to observe what the children's needs and interests are. Where do they need support? How might they progress in their experience, spiritually, physically, mentally or emotionally.

 Nature School sessions at Ide Hill take a more Outdoor Learning format, where the children are taught a skill or shown an activity that they will then trial for themselves with an outcome in mind. These activities are designed to expose the children to a range of skills and experiences, and to enhance their understanding of, and connection to, their local natural environment.

Forest School and the School Curriculum

 Forest School at Ide Hill has the capacity to impact all areas of the curriculum, from our use of language, song and poetry, to our exploration of shape and space, pattern and number. From our development of physical skills, to supporting the understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. The children themselves regularly share the connections in their learning and experience with their teachers and FSL.

With the EYFS the links between Forest School and the Characteristics of Effective learning, the EYFS Principles and the Areas for Learning and Development are clear and well supported.

Forest School also has the scope to directly support formal teaching in certain subjects in Yrs 1-6. The table below highlights the areas where links may be more formally made.