Archimedes Forest Schools
“…is fundamentally one of the most important and exciting educational developments in the world today. It’s changing the way people think about education and about our connection to nature. Forest Schools is known to improve a young person’s pedagogical development, their life skills and self confidence. Schools that fully embrace Archimedes Forest Schools, as an organisational philosophy, gain better results across the board than ones that don’t”
Archimedes Forest Schools are very different from any other. Archimedes Forest Schools train its practitioners to do all of the things other good Forest School practitioners do and in addition to this Archimedes has developed a unique transformational pedagogy so that the child or young person benefits from spending time in the woods and at the same time their health, wellbeing and behaviour is improved through what we impart.
There are six major elements to Archimedes Forest Schools training, all of which trainers introduce to their students who are then guided to experience, reflect upon and understand during their specialist training process;
TRANSFORMATIONAL OUTCOMES – LONG TERM PROCESS – LEARNER LED EXPERIENCE – NATURAL ENVIRONMENT – QUALIFIED TRAINERS – OUTDOOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
- Outcomes: Transformational learning is an approach which recognises the holistic nature of learning and the ability to have positive influence on an individuals outlook on a fundamental and lifelong level. Depending on the age of those on the programme, it might particularly benefit to develop the ability to empathise, creating communities, experimentation, self awareness and control.
- Holistic Development
- Transformational Learning
- Nature connection
- Long Term Process : This comprises of either a long term programme, or continuous inclusion in your setting/group, using the core ethos of Archimedes Forest Schools to develop a genuine learning community. This long term nature allows learners to become familiar with a new, innovative way of approaching learning, developing projects and ideas of a period of time, as well as the benefits from having those experiences becoming well rehearsed, intrinsic abilities, which in turn is then carried back into other aspects of their lives.
- Programme planning
- Community cohesion
- Hierarchy of needs
- Learner Led Experience : Using a variety of approaches, the Practitioner works towards supporting as much freedom as the learners are comfortable and capable of, both in terms of adapting any leader-led content to reflect that particular group`s needs and preferences, as well as encouraging them towards independence in the learning from and exploration of that space and their peers.
- Reflective practice
- Educational theory foundation
- Natural Environment : Being able to develop a personal connection with nature will mean a more meaningful and response relationship to it. Not only can it be used in incredibly educational applications, but it can also foster a respect to care for nature and be mindful of sustainability in a much deeper way. Woodland, Forests, Wildspaces, all have unique and varied potential in terms of opportunities for learning. This could be through exploration and experimentation with the materials found there, equally the benefits of working alongside others and negotiating problems and recognising how to make ideas come to fruition.
- Environmental Management
- Flora/Fauna ID
- Plant uses
- Run by Qualified Practitioners : Trained and assessed in the ethos, methodology and skills of Forest Schools, qualified Practitioners are able to create communities and enable transformational learning experiences. They are also key in developing the culture of their Forest Schools, in co-creating with the learners any routines, roles and responsibilities, passions and interests as well as helping interpret and demonstrate new freedoms capable in that space. They continuously develop their own practice and consider themselves and learner equally.
- Leadership Styles
- Personal Experience
- Skills : Inspirational experiences such as mud play, den building, fire lighting, woodcraft, campfire cooking and environmental art are just some of the opportunities available during a Forest Schools programme. These experiences are used as a “context for learning”, they are opportunities to learn about yourself, others and the world around you. They will also provide learners to explore aspects of learning which will support their approach to learning elsewhere and enable them to develop skills in approaching problems, be it personal or technical, that are lifelong skills.
- Tool use and Fire Lighting
- Benefit Risk Process
- Safety and Shelter
The final and most important quality of our Forest Schools provision is that fact that it comes from a deep sense of wanting to genuinely influence the lives of those with them at the Forest Schools in their enjoyment of life and create experiences which will encourage them for the rest of their life, be that from an educational points of view, nature connection, personal or social perspective.
This is why head teachers, teachers, teaching assistants, outdoor instructors, community leaders, parents, additional needs support staff and many others come to Forest Schools, they recognise that it is an opportunity to explore and become confident in how to use spaces with astounding opportunities for development, for a genuine desire to enable personal growth.