Abbey Primary's Forest School
Welcome to 'The Canopy'!
Our new Forest School programme, has been lovingly named The Canopy, as a tribute to our late Queen, Elizabeth II. In 2022, the nation was invited to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee by planting hundreds of thousands of native trees across the land, all donated through the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative - a legacy we were happy to be a part of.
Here at Abbey Primary School, down in 'The Canopy' you will find our Forest School practitioners; leaders - not in 'instructing' the children at every step of their experience, but in facilitating them to find their own path to achieving their own goals. Forest School sessions enable our pupils to develop their self-esteem, social interaction skills, and build confidence to take risks within a supportive environment. By providing opportunities to experience play through the SPICES (social, physical, intellectual, creativity, emotional and spiritual engagement), we support the children to grow - and thrive - independently and at their own pace, not hindered by the constraints of time or space.
Moving around the outdoor site, climbing trees, and building dens helps the children to develop and refine their motor strength and skills, with real purpose. During their sessions, they learn to tie knots, build animal homes from natural materials and thread twines to weave patterns (just to name a few).
Working with a partner or within a group promotes and builds children's confidence, communication, understanding and listening abilities. They learn to play to each others' strengths, as well as recognise and support each others' areas for development - often stepping in to lend a helping hand, coach with advice or make constructive suggestions.
The children's projects, which often take place over time, and at a range of scales, are the result of their own ideas. The role of the adults is to model new skills and techniques, whilst observing and supporting the children's ideas through the use of carefully chosen props and equipment - introduced in a timely manner. Some children choose to follow and develop the adult initiated activities, whilst others stumble across their projects as a result of their discussions, imagination and experimentation.
The aim of 'The Canopy' sessions is to provide pupils with possibilities that only the outdoor environment can provide. All our pupils are invited to excel with the understanding that, for some, learning doesn't always fit neatly between the pages of a book, or within the classroom walls. At Abbey, we celebrate the fact that we are all different, and KNOW that we ALL have a positive contribution to make. The Canopy' is a wonderful place where we can be proud to be us, safe in the knowledge that we can and we will all find our own way, in our own time.