These recommendations should be read in conjunction with 2.1 – Observe 3 individuals and assess the impact of Forest School on their behaviour and learning.
Initially reluctant to engage with activities or other group members as the sessions progressed C became more familiar with both the forest school site and the other members of the group. This familiarity led to in increased involvement. It would help C if more sessions were regularly offered on the same site and with the same staff and the same group of children.
It would be important to ensure session activities are child led and that C is allowed to participate, or not, to the level he is comfortable with. Where possible letting C know what the plan for the session was and avoiding significant changes would help.
It was difficult to predict which activities C would choose to engage with so continuing to offer a wide variety of activities that support different learning styles would perhaps help identify those that he enjoyed and participated in. He generally joined in with the hide and seek type games so playing those before activities might help engagement.
Playing lots of games would also give C the opportunity to interact with others and support development of social skills and empathy.
Throughout the sessions F consistently presented as a very confident and well adjusted child keen to challenge himself. He was in his element playing in and exploring the woodlands and comfortable interacting with both staff and other children.
F’s need is really skill development. I am confident he would thrive given the chance to participate in activities that involved tool use and with fire. I think different methods of fire lighting would present an appropriate challenge to him. Whittling would also provide F with activities that could easily be adapted by staff to present an increasing level of challenge.
Providing opportunities for F to take a leadership role is something I think he would enjoy and further develop his empathy, social skills and leadership skills. This could be done by making him a leader in group games or by giving him the opportunity to lead activities.
F was sometimes self critical of things he has attempted if he did not feel he had completed them as well as he felt he should have. It would be important when attempting tasks and activities new to F to set them at a level that was challenging but achievable and perhaps for staff to model making mistakes when demonstrating new skills.
N presented as a very happy and confident two year old. Her language development was clearly ahead of her chronological age and she was comfortable talking to staff and children and able to communicate and express herself clearly with others.
N was the youngest and smallest child in the group. As N got to know the other members of the group though she was increasingly keen to engage with activities and was not deterred by the age and size difference of the other children.
Sessions should be planned with plenty of flexibility and with opportunities for free play. Future sessions should provide N with as wide a variety of experiences as possible to support her learning and development.
Continuing to include N in sessions with older children will give her further opportunities to learn from those children and developing her communication skills to support her current confidence in engaging with others regardless of age.