Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
At Central Primary we are extremely fortunate to have Mr Toft who is a qualified forest school leader. Mr Toft leads groups of children with the aid of support staff to allow our children to experience Forest School. We also employ Mrs Toft – another registered Forest School leader who leads Forest School sessions specifically with our Reception classes.
Being an urban school with concrete yards can be difficult, yet we have overcome our challenge of a significant lack of green space by working closely with others within our local community. The new ‘Curriculum for Wales’ focuses heavily on children utilising their locality to help them develop a sense of identity. We engage fully with our local community and value building strong links for our families.
We have developed a partnership over the years with Talbot Memorial Park and have been part of their fundraising events to help restore the beautiful bandstand. As a result, we have close links with Friends of Talbot Memorial Park who are always very welcoming and friendly. We have positive links with Gnoll Park in Neath and Margam Park in Port Talbot, which offer our Forest School Leaders a broad choice, depending on the age of our children and the planned activity. We are also exploring links to St. Theodore’s Church, so that we can help develop the grounds of the church which will be beneficial to our whole community.
After such a challenging year period impacted by Covid, we are prioritising our children’s health and well-being. We firmly believe that access to dedicated Forest School sessions allows a child to connect with nature and also encourages them to develop healthy perceptions of themselves. Confidence, curiosity, respect and wonder are all skills that are explored through Forest School.