Forest School proves a ‘growing influence’ on Loretto Junior School pupils!

Loretto Junior School is one of only a small number of Forest Schools in Scotland. Set in 85 acres of leafy campus, Loretto is perfectly situated to pioneer one of the most important educational developments in the world today.  
To be a Forest School is to change the way our pupils connect to nature, adopting an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.
Children need time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships.
This time and reflective practice develops our pupils’ understanding of the world, the environment and everything within it through the use of emotions, imagination and senses.
Our Forest School is used by Years 1 - 5 and the philosophy is to encourage and inspire our pupils through positive outdoor experiences. By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment, every pupil has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound emotional and social skills.
Loretto pupils have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others.
Our programmes run throughout the School week, going to the woods and pupils use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self-motivated.
Loretto Forest School aims to develop:
•    Self-awareness
•    Self-regulation
•    Intrinsic motivation
•    Empathy
•    Good social communication skills
•    Independence
•    A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
What activities happen at Loretto’s Forest School?
Loretto’s Forest School routine includes preparing to go out by dressing in outdoor clothes, sharing stories, talking about the weather and the season.  Forest School can run all year round and in all weathers (except high winds which may make the woods dangerous because of falling branches and trees). 
Regular activities include:
•    Exploring and using the woodland
•    Scavenger hunts and adventures
•    Physical movement activities with possible tree climbing
•    Den and shelter building
•    Learning knots and lashings to help with construction activities or pulling/moving objects
•    Woodland craft activities using natural materials
•    Art and sculpture
•    Cooking food on an open fire
•    Studying wildlife
•    Using sticks and collecting wood
•    Rope swings
•    Sensory activities
•    Various team and group games

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