Campbell College Junior School is delighted to celebrate its accreditation as an official Forest School on National Forest School Day (Friday 11th October, 2019), under the leadership of Mrs Sinead McLeigh, a Prep 4 Teacher and Level 3 Forest School Practitioner. Forest School Day (FSD) was launched in 2018 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the start of UK Forest School, which now has 14,000 forest school leaders working with thousands of children throughout the UK. The College has been accredited by the Northern Ireland Forest School Association (NIFSA).
The Forest School ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond, with its roots reaching back to early years’ pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia. Each programme shares a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers.
At Campbell College Junior School, Forest School will seek to provide all pupils with opportunities to develop a wide range of skills and personal capabilities. As Mrs McLeigh explains, “The impetus is to promote children’s holistic development and build their confidence, resilience and independence. Forest School fosters a sense of community and teamwork, whilst allowing our pupils to take supported risks which are appropriate to the environment and to themselves.”
Head of Junior School, Miss Andrea Brown, is delighted that the Forest School approach will introduce a whole new dimension to learning and teaching at Campbell. “Children learn best when they are engaged in active learning, and Forest School experiences are filled with opportunities for exploration and discovery. Located within a 100-acre woodland campus, we have always been keen to maximise the learning potential of our rich, varied and ever-changing outdoor classroom. As an accredited Forest School, our aim will be to ignite pupils’ imagination and promote their emotional well-being, as they develop a wealth of skills to bring back to the classroom and apply to everyday life.”