Kent Wildlife Trust Forest School is out in the woods, working with schools, all year round and great learning opportunities arise by watching one season turn into the next. This could be anything from learning to ID trees in winter to practising building a waterproof shelter to protect yourself from the rain. The importance of having a campfire also really shows itself at this time of year for warmth, hot drinks, tasty food and the general feeling of cosiness.
Rain doesn't stop play for Forest Schools!
Although the jumpers, waterproofs and wellies have to make a reappearance, the changing of the seasons also means we get to spend time in the woods, kicking the crunchy leaves, toasting chestnuts on the fire, stomping in the mud and, after all that fun, settling around the campfire for a much needed hot chocolate.
The fact that children have to learn how to keep warm and realise that you can have fun outside whatever the weather is such a great life lesson and one they will hopefully carry with them into the future.
Although some children initially show some reluctance to get muddy and embrace the conditions, as soon as they see some of their peers and the Forest School leaders showing them the way, they soon lose their inhibitions, throw on their waterproofs and join the other children playing and sliding in the mud.
By carrying on our Forest School programme through the winter months we are meeting one of the Forest School Association’s most important key principles that states “Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit.”
We now have 3 main sites from which we run Forest School sessions all year round; our Denstead Wood site, near Canterbury, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve and Bough Beech Nature Reserve, at Ide Hill.
If you are interested in finding more out about our Forest School sessions please contact us on: ForestSchool@:kentwildlife.org.uk or call Kathryn Barton on 07717 367944.
~ Cat Bradford, Forest School Leader