St Mary's C of E (Aided) Primary School, Pulborough

Forest School

We believe that Forest School at St. Mary’s reflects our Mission Statement: A Christ-centred school with a child-centred curriculum, along with the Forest School Ethos: Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to develop confidence and achieve self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland or natural environment with trees. 

We endeavour at all times to provide an environment where children begin to thrive in natural surroundings, enjoying preferred activities - be that learning a new woodland skill, taking time out to talk to a friend or exploring the plant and animal life around them. Children gain confidence and self-esteem at Forest School through learning to assess and take  risks safely and being given opportunities to make choices, either independently or as a small group. 

Exploration of the natural world sparks curiosity and with the growing realisation that we all depend on each other, respect for wildlife and one another deepens.   Forest School gives each child the time he/she so desperately needs and deserves, enabling skills and information to become embedded securely, ready for new learning and development. 
Forest School has now been in full operation in St. Mary’s since September 2010. When the idea was first conceived, the school agreed that it wanted Forest School to be an integral part of daily life at school, not a project bolted on to an already busy curriculum. As such, we see ourselves as a Forest School, not just a school that does Forest School. We have seen the remarkable benefits that Forest School produces:
  • the calming effect on children who find the classroom situation difficult to handle
  • the moment to shine for a child who is practically very able but academically less so

  • the pleasure of being covered in mud for the first time

  • the enjoyment of the freedom to play a self-initiated game with a group of friends in a natural setting with improvised ‘toys’.

The in-house Forest School team is passionate about what it delivers and excited about what Forest School at St. Mary’s will continue to facilitate and achieve in the future.