Forest school uses a child led methodology so each group has had a different experience based on their location, interests and needs. As a leader of the group, I was privileged to witness leadership skills being developed, lots of on the ground problem solving, team work, creativity, kindness, multiple ways to have fun together, people looking after their own needs in keeping themselves safe and happy, games being created and played and adapted and evolved, learning of skills like knot work and putting up swings and willingness to give things a go and learn from each attempt.
The following is a snippet of one groups’ gratitude circle responses at the end of their six sessions together.
I am grateful for being able to do so much with my group, playing games and our bowling lane.
I am grateful for everything we did here especially the bowling today – that was super fun trying to get the pine cones down from the trees.
I am grateful for our leaders because we can only do so much learning in the classroom. To learn about nature you have to come and see it for yourself and make memories.
It’s been really fun learning knot work and all the different ways you can tie knots and making the pulley on the first day and doing whittling and just learning about the nature that’s around us.
I’m grateful that I was able to climb trees because it’s fun and friendship bracelets were fun too as it’s fun to swing them back and forth.
I’m grateful for being able to come up to the forest and the friendship bracelets.
I’m grateful for being here seeing everybody explore the forest the way you do and I know that I’ve learned so much from watching you do that. And I think that as a mum I can be be a better mum because I can play with my children the way I’ve seen you play which has just been inspirational. (parent assistant)