Hollinswood Values at Forest School

There are numerous opportunities at Forest School for children to be taught and to display the four Hollinswood Values of responsibility, respect, resilience and resourcefulness.  Below are some examples.

Being responsible

Being responsible when getting ready

From the youngest nursery age of 3 years old, children are encouraged to have the responsibility to get themselves ready and prepared for spending time outdoors.  For 3 and 4 year-olds, this is a big task; to put on waterproofs, change into wellies, zip up coats and remember hats and gloves in the winter.  However, with positivity and encouragement, the children take on this responsibility and gradually learn to look after themselves.

As the children get older, they are expected to turn waterproof trousers the right way out to dry, put away wellies in the right place and leave the Forest School courtyard tidy.  Having responsibility for their own and school belongings is a skill that translates well back into the classroom and home life.

Responsibility to keep yourself safe

All children are taught and soon learn about the 'boundaries' at Forest School.  Some of these are physical boundaries made by the undergrowth or trees at the edge of the Forest School area but many are explained when children start Forest School and staff give pupils the responsibility to respect and adhere to these boundaries to keep themselves safe. In the Foundations Stage, use of games like hide and seek allow staff to test whether the children have learned where the boundaries are and if necessary, reminders are given not to stray beyond them.

Being responsible with risky activities

At Forest School children are given the opportunity to take risks in a safe, controlled environment.  For younger children, getting onto the rope swing is not easy, it also takes resilience and the children have to be careful not to bang into the tree or knock each other over.

We encourage children to use tools such as secateurs, saws and penknives at Forest School, which requires great responsibility from the children.  We have found that the children rise well to this challenge and show respect for the rules they are asked to follow and the tools they are using. 

Being respectful

Being respectful of the Forest School rules

Adults place a lot of trust in the children at Forest School. We trust them to be responsible and stay within the boundaries, we trust them to be respectful of the fire square rule and not go near the fire square whether there is a fire in the fire square or not.  Children are very respectful of this rule and remind their peers if they forget to follow it.