Forest school is an essential part of Ashurst Wood Primary school experience. It is embedded in our curriculum and promotes our school ethos - Love of life, Love of learning and Love of people.
Children and adults have the opportunity to regularly connect with nature both in our woodland forest school site (courtesy of Mr Eichner), our school grounds and through walking in our beautiful surrounding countryside.
At the heart of Forest School in Ashurst Wood is the freedom given to children to play. Through play the children are able to develop social skills, problem solve, become resilient and develop empathy and kindness. Play is an essential of child development.
Forest School promotes free play as part of a session as it allows children to indulge in imaginative/focused/individual or social play. It also allows quiet concentration, quiet time alone to think, to look around and be part of nature. The surroundings and the way in which Forest School is structured allows for self-discovery within nature and also in natural art which in turn opens up a plethora of creative opportunities both within an individual and also a social context.
Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRN) in relation to play clearly states that it recognises the right of the child for rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities (appropriate to the age of the child), to participate freely in cultural life and the arts and the need for respect and promotion of the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life. It encourages the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
The relevance of article 31 in relation to play is that all children have the right to “down time” this encompasses play and recreational activities as well as culture and arts. Society is encouraged to make the provision for this and allow this to happen. Play is recognised as a vital part of learning as well as social and personal development. The UN has therefore made it a right for every child to participate in play.