Gad’s Hill’s new year seven students discovered more about themselves and each other during an outdoor session in the school’s very own Forest School.

The 11-12-year old classmates enjoyed a free play period in the woodland space, which is set in the school grounds, as part of their SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) studies.

Director of Studies, Dr Stephanie Burke, said:  “Our Forest School is for all the Gad’s family and what better way to bond with new friends, and explore nature, than by spending time in such a relaxed environment.”

SMSC lessons promote a ‘sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about oneself, other people and the world around us, foster the ‘use of imagination and creativity in learning’ and encourage a ‘range of social skills in different contexts’, while ‘cooperating well with others’.

Forest School Leader, Mrs Lisa Marshall added:  “Children are free to investigate and find their own way of gathering and processing information, which encourages both independence and team skills and boosts confidence of all learners, regardless of their age or ability.”

The Forest School hosts ‘lessons’, clubs, open days and social events throughout the year, which benefit not only the Gad’s students and family but also the wider community.

Forest Schools originated in Sweden during the 1950s to teach children about the natural world.  They offer a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.

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