Joy at the Forest School Out of School graduation

06 February 2019

Doncaster College hosted a graduation ceremony for children who completed the 'Forest School Out of School' intervention programme in January, to celebrate their success.

The programme, funded by EXPECT Youth’s Essential Life Skills programme,is an experience building process designed to develop children's essential life skills and support their holistic development.

The graduation ceremony showcased the achievement of the children and allowed them to celebrate with their proud families and carers.

Programme Manager, EXPECT Youth, Katie Hodgson said: “Through the Opportunity Area funding Doncaster has received, EXPECT Youth are excited to be able to offer a range of extra-curricular activities that look to develop essential life skills in children and young people aged 5-18 across Doncaster, and the Forest School Out of School is one of those exciting opportunities.

“The graduation was a lovely showcase of all the children’s efforts and hard work and it was fantastic to see so many smiling faces as they celebrated. We’re thrilled that the programme has been so successful.”

Janine Ryan, Project Manager at Doncaster College added: "Doncaster College Forest School programme is making a difference to children’s lives. Our hope is that the legacy will continue with schools developing their own woodland sites and continuing to offer opportunities for children to learning through a Forest School experience."

EXPECT Youth’s mission is to work together to make sustainable improvements to the aspiration, achievement and life skills of young people across Doncaster by making a positive impact upon their lives, and the Essential Life Skills programme optimises just that.

The funded programme, Forest School Out of School Club is an intervention designed to support disadvantaged children in Doncaster. Forest School is an experience building process that offers children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment.

The positive impact that outdoor environments have on a child’s upbringing has shown in research to be indispensable and the Forest School Out of School encourages children to engage in activities such as den building, shelter making, fire lighting, cooking, using tools and investigating natural woodland.

Heightened levels of self-belief, positive attitude, independence and an increased tendency to take initiative have been evidenced in the programme.

As part of the programme, a member of staff from each school received training to achieve the Level 3 Forest School Practitioner award this will enable Forest School to be continued on a local level. The 'Forest School Out of School' programme is now in its second phase working with a further 10 schools located in disadvantaged wards of Doncaster.

For more information, contact the team on 01302 637276.