Confidence, friendship, and teamwork…’Katylous Forest School’
A few weeks ago, I feel we had a real breakthrough with the children who attend our Burbage Common Forest School sessions, particularly with friendship, confidence and teamwork.
Our theme for the week was ‘shapes’, so we went on a hunt in the woods and found lots of interesting patterns and shapes in the trees. Trees have really beautiful looking knots in their trunks and both the children and adults were fascinated by them. Looking up to the sky we came across lots of different shapes in the canopy of the trees and even in the clouds; they looked so beautiful!
How many times do we walk around being quite blinkered? We, as adults, have to get to a certain destination for a certain time and we do not notice what is around us. Children do notice things though. Many times we have had children say ‘look at the plane!’ We look around and cannot see a plane but then if we really squint our eyes and focus at the sky we can see a tiny, tiny plane in the distance. How did the children see it? It was sooo tiny! But children do not have the amount to retain in their heads as we do. They do not need to remember to buy milk, to get to a certain appointment by 10am, wondering if they remembered to put a spare pair of trousers in their bag just in case they get wet while puddle jumping.
Taking an hour to go on a nature shape hunt really grounded the adults who came along, as well as the children, everybody loved it! We all saw so much more than we would usually see if we just went on a ‘walk.’
We had made a spider’s web in the trees out of ropes for the children to climb up, over and through. Some children love standing on one side and bouncing up and down while others love climbing through, imagining they are on the crystal maze! One of our boys, Toby, has been coming to Forest School for 8 months. Initially, he was a very shy little boy and slowly his confidence has been growing. As soon as he saw the spiders web he wanted to climb on it – usually preferring to stand on one side of the ropes without moving. This particular week though we were joined by a new little girl who is home-schooled, her name is Marli. Marli was playing on the other side of the web and through teamwork and lots of encouragement from Marli, Toby, for the first time ever, climbed up, over and under the ropes to get to the other side of the crystal maze spider web! The huge personal achievement Toby received at the end of the climb was fantastic, there were high fives all round and the biggest smile of all was on Toby’s face! Toby and Marli then continued exploring the woods whilst hand in hand!
In those few moments, we had the privilege to witness this new found confidence gained though self appreciation, managing risk and achieving an unexpected goal. A formation of friendship amongst two children who were strangers. A perfect demonstration of empathy, encouragement and teamwork. The hidden gems of forest school, right before our eyes!
Hope to see you very soon,
Helen the Hedgehog x
To find out more info about Forest School please visit our website www.katylous.co.uk