Inspiring Respect, Resilience and the ability to Think and Act Inclusively in our international environment
The natural world has always been an outstanding source of inspiration. At AIS we believe that we need to allow ourselves time to fully immerse in the natural world and experience it. Forest School is a programme where many national sections can work together and help students to share knowledge and understanding and to take time to experience the natural world.
This programme is incorporated into some of our national curricular programmes and a number of teachers and teaching assistants have had training and followed courses that require a commitment to a portfolio that leads to UK based level 2 and 3 qualifications. During the courses staff learn how to use a range of tools and techniques with children in an appropriate safe context. When a child at Forest School creates a spark, spots a squirrel or recognises the changing seasons it is a chance to inspire learning and promote life long learning.
Forest School originated in Scandinavia and was widely adopted in Denmark in the 1980s, with young children spending the majority of their school day outside; exploring wildlife, experiencing seasonal changes (rain or shine) and developing their gross and fine motor skills amongst many others. Around the same time, shinrin-yoku (taking in the atmosphere of the forest) was developed in Japan, which has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Hence, developing a life-long love for nature in young learners is crucial for their physical and mental wellbeing. An awareness of climate, eco-systems, flora and fauna enables students to engage in global discussions as well-informed citizens.
The programme offered at AIS was developed in the 1990s in response to provision in Scandinavia of an outdoor learning strategy. Initially used widely in preschools and nurseries it was found to be beneficial for children to have a range of experiences outdoors where play and exploration in nature could be utilised.
The Forest School helps our students:
What do students say about their Forest School experience: