The Erasmus+ course on "Outdoor Learning: Forest School Approach" is a transformative and innovative training program designed to empower educators with the knowledge and expertise to embrace nature-based education. Tailored for pre-primary and primary school teachers and rooted in the principles of the Forest School approach, this course equips participants with the knowledge and skills to create engaging outdoor educational opportunities within natural environments, such as forests and woodlands. Through interactive workshops, seminars, and hands-on exercises, teachers will gain a profound understanding of the benefits and methodologies of the Forest School approach.
Safety is a paramount concern in any outdoor educational setting, and this course dedicates significant attention to equipping educators with the necessary skills for conducting thorough risk assessments and implementing safety protocols to ensure the well-being of their young students during outdoor adventures. Participants will also learn how to foster environmental awareness and sustainability practices among pre-primary and primary school children, encouraging them to develop a deep connection and reverence for the natural world.
The child-led approach is at the core of the Forest School Method, and the course emphasizes how to effectively facilitate student-led learning experiences that promote self-discovery, autonomy, and critical thinking. Teachers will learn how to adapt the curriculum and seamlessly integrate various subjects into outdoor activities, creating interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
Comprehensive Understanding of Forest School Principles: Participants will gain a thorough comprehension of the key principles and philosophies underlying the Forest School approach, including the child-led learning model, the importance of nature-based experiences, and the role of the natural environment in children's development.
Safety and Risk Management: Teachers will acquire essential skills in conducting risk assessments and implementing safety protocols to ensure a secure and responsible learning environment during outdoor activities, fostering a sense of trust and confidence in conducting Forest School sessions.
Integration of Nature-Based Learning into Curriculum: Educators will learn how to effectively integrate nature-based learning experiences into their curriculum, seamlessly connecting various subjects to outdoor activities and creating interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
Child-Led Facilitation Skills: Participants will develop facilitation techniques that encourage child-led learning experiences, promoting autonomy, self-discovery, and problem-solving skills among pre-primary and primary school students.
Environmental Awareness and Stewardship: Teachers will be equipped to foster environmental awareness and instill sustainable practices in young learners, nurturing a sense of responsibility and respect for the natural world.
Observation and Adaptation: Educators will refine their ability to observe and respond to the needs and interests of individual students, enabling them to tailor learning experiences that support holistic development and cater to diverse learning styles.
Personal and Social Development: Participants will understand how to use the Forest School Method to promote personal growth, social skills, teamwork, and emotional well-being in pre-primary and primary school children.
Interdisciplinary Outdoor Activities: Teachers will be proficient in designing engaging and creative outdoor activities that encompass various subjects, fostering a holistic approach to learning that goes beyond traditional classroom boundaries.
Reflection and Continuous Improvement: Participants will develop a habit of reflection, enabling them to continuously assess and improve their Forest School practices, leading to enhanced teaching effectiveness and student engagement.
Inspiring and Creative Teaching: Educators will be inspired to adopt innovative and creative teaching methodologies that harness the power of nature and the outdoors to kindle curiosity and passion for learning in their pre-primary and primary school students.
Classes take place Monday to Friday in the morning.
Day 1: Introduction to Forest School Principles
Welcome and course orientation
Overview of the Forest School approach and its benefits for pre-primary and primary school education
Nature-based icebreaker activities to foster group cohesion
Introduction to risk assessment and safety protocols for outdoor activities
Guided nature walk and observation exercise
Day 2: Child-Led Learning and Facilitation
Understanding child-led learning: theories and practical implications
Group discussions on how to encourage autonomy and self-discovery in students
Practical role-playing scenarios for effective facilitation during outdoor sessions
Forest School activity design: integrating subjects and promoting interdisciplinary learning
Outdoor team-building activities to develop group dynamics
Day 3: Environmental Awareness and Nature Connection
Environmental education and its importance in the Forest School Method
Guest speaker session on local flora and fauna, and their significance in the ecosystem
Nature journaling and sketching exercises to deepen participants' connection with nature
Outdoor scavenger hunt with environmental themes to reinforce learning outcomes
Day 4: Personal Development and Well-being
The role of the natural environment in supporting children's emotional and social well-being
Mindfulness and relaxation techniques for students in outdoor settings
Group reflections on the impact of nature on personal growth and resilience
Outdoor storytelling and drama activities to explore emotions and build empathy
Practical session on designing outdoor art and craft activities with natural materials
Day 5: Culminating Forest School Experience
Collaborative planning and preparation for a full-day Forest School session
Finalize safety measures and risk assessment for the culminating activity
Implementation of the Forest School session, incorporating child-led learning and interdisciplinary activities
Group debrief and reflection on the experiences and lessons learned throughout the course
Certification of Attendance and confirmation of Erasmus+ Mobility documents
The 5-day course fee per participant is set at 420€, which provides comprehensive coverage for all aspects of the program. This fee includes the following:
Course Materials: Participants will receive all necessary course materials, including handouts, guides, and resources, to support their learning throughout the program.
Administrative Support: Participants will benefit from administrative assistance before, during, and after the course, ensuring a smooth registration process, timely communication, and any necessary follow-up support.
Monitoring and Mentoring: The course fee covers monitoring and mentoring services provided by experienced professionals who will guide participants throughout the program, offering personalized support, feedback, and guidance.
Coffee Breaks: Participants will enjoy refreshments during coffee breaks, fostering networking opportunities and providing a relaxed environment for informal discussions and interactions.
Other Inclusions: The fee also covers any additional services or resources required for the successful implementation of the course, ensuring a comprehensive and fulfilling learning experience.
We strive to ensure that participants receive exceptional value for their investment in the course, with the fee covering a wide range of services and resources that contribute to their professional development and overall satisfaction.