Rydal Penrhos School

Forest School

“The best education starts in the classroom but it doesn’t end there”

Introduced by the Head of the Prep School, Mr Roger McDuff, and led by Mrs Jude Pyves, the Rydal Penrhos Forest School
(Coed y Plant) makes use of our unique woodland setting to promote an innovative approach to outdoor learning.

The philosophy

The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences. The Forest School programme originated in Scandinavia and is underpinned by thorough research into the learning behaviour of children at an early age and how best to develop this.

Forest Schools aim to develop:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Empathy
  • Good social communication skills
  • Independence
  • A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
  • A healthy respect for the natural environment

Rydal Penrhos Forest School focuses on providing a safe, outdoor learning experience where children and young people are encouraged to explore, discover, take suitable risks and learn in a secure area of woodland.

What will your child learn?

What could be a better way for children to learn than being outside and discovering things for themselves? Following their own ideas, working with the mood of the group in a safe natural environment, children are given the opportunity, on a weekly basis, to discover the joys of the forest.

Each half term there is a new a Forest School theme. Our chosen theme may be based on a personal attribute, such as co-operation or creativity; helping to encourage personal development; or it may be based on a curriculum topic –mathematics, history, art or science; or it may be more overtly about the forest – wildlife, habitats, trees or sticks. Whatever the theme, Coed y Plant offers all the children wonderful opportunities for learning at many levels.

Forest School Development

The woodland is being managed: trees and bulbs are planted as appropriate in the hope of increasing the biodiversity of the forest. Trampling feet inevitably damage some plants and habitats, however with increased understanding the children are encouraged to take care where they put their feet and only to pick up what the trees have already dropped. Whilst searching for ‘signs of spring’ in February, the children learn to spot, and therefore avoid, new shoots, and delight in the delicacy of the snowdrops.

As knowledge amongst the children develops, they become more aware of other inhabitants of the forest and of their needs. The children in Pre-prep make bird-seed cakes and consider where best to hang them, as well as creating homes for small mammals over the winter. They also spend time finding out about the bird boxes, how they were made and where they would best be placed. With this increased knowledge, understanding and appreciation, it is hoped that children will transfer this thinking to all natural environments that they visit and will seek to look after their inhabitants. As they grow up into young adults they will hopefully take with them a healthy respect for their environment.

Jude Pyves, Forest School Leader

Site information

Rydal Penrhos School
Pwllycrochan Avenue
Colwyn Bay
LL29 7BT

Tel: +44 (0)1492 530 155 (Senior)
Tel: +44 (0)1492 530 381 (Prep)
Fax: +44 (0)1492 531 872

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