Staff Area

Staff Area

Hawksmoor School

Woodland Explorers - Forest Schools

At the core of Woodland Explorers lies a philosophy that seeks to in still in young children a deep appreciation for the natural world. By immersing themselves in the outdoor environment, children are not only encouraged but also inspired to build confidence, independence, and self-esteem through the accomplishment of small, achievable tasks.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that children who attend outdoor learning programs display significantly improved concentration compared to their peers who do not. The key contributing factor appears to be the wealth of opportunities for nature-based play, allowing children to engage for extended periods with minimal disruption, unlike their counterparts in urban kindergarten settings. In these mainstream nurseries, interruptions often led to irritability, increased stress levels, reduced concentration, and a propensity for selfish and inconsiderate behaviour.

Furthermore, studies have shown that outdoor learning participants experience 25% fewer sick days than other children. This can be attributed to several factors, such as the generally better outdoor air quality, reduced exposure to viruses and bacteria, and less likelihood of infections from other children. Stress, which can weaken the immune system, is also less prevalent in the more enjoyable, natural, and less stressful environment of outdoor learning.

Consequently, children who attend Woodland Explorers during EYFS arrive at school equipped with stronger social skills, enhanced teamwork abilities, and heightened self-esteem and self-confidence. These attributes serve as a solid foundation for achieving academic success. Woodland Explorers has provided opportunities for individuals of all ages, including children and adults, to develop a diverse range of life skills. These encompass altruism, independence, self-awareness, and social communication abilities, all of which contribute to increased self-esteem and confidence.

Participation in Woodland Explorers fosters a sense of self-assurance in one's capabilities, particularly benefiting kinesthetic learners who thrive on hands-on experiences in the outdoor woodland environment. It grants children the space and time they need to explore, experiment, and learn at their own pace. Consequently, Foundation Stage (Reception) and Year 1 students frequently engage in Woodland Explorer activities, providing them with invaluable experiences in the natural world.​