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St Joseph's Academy

St. Joseph's
Catholic Academy

Forest Schools

St Joseph's is an accredited Forest School.

Our Foundation and KS1 classes seek to incorporate outdoor learning into all areas of the curriculum, making excellent use of our beautiful grounds.

St Joseph's, wants to ensure that our children our given the best possible start to their education. Our vision is to ensure each child has the opportunity to develop themselves in an inquisitive manner whist having a positive relationship with the natural world. We want to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills they need to thrive.

Forest School, is a child-centred inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.

We aim to equip our children with:

Confidence – by giving our children the freedom, time and space to demonstrate their independence.

Social skills – children actively taking part in team activities and socialising with their peers.

Communication – Language development will be prompted by the children’s sensory experiences.

Physical Skills – these shall be improved as the children spend more time in the outdoors.

Knowledge and understanding – the children shall develop a real interest of the outdoors and a respect for it.

The activities take place regularly outdoors, in small groups. The programme is long term one, and regular and frequent and learning is automatically enhanced as the outdoor environment naturally offers an environment that is informal, challenging, unpredictable and stimulating. This allows the children the opportunity to test and maintain their curiosity of the world around them as they explore using their senses.

The learning and teaching strategies used foster independence and develop language and communication skills and increase levels of physical activity and emotional wellbeing. Time is given to explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships, and they are encouraged to understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment.


Opportunities are provided to take risks, make choices, find new ways of working, initiate learning, develop practical skills and become confident and capable people by giving them challenging but achievable tasks and the time to reflect on this.