We are the first Forest School Programme in the city conducted by Level 3 Forest School practitioners. Forest School aims to develop in our young learners the following characteristics: self-awareness, self-regulation, intrinsic motivation, creativity, resilience, empathy, good social and communication skills, independence, a positive mental attitude, self-esteem, and confidence.
Providing a Forest School learning opportunity was clearly not easy in the densely-populated neighbourhoods of Hong Kong, thus we took the unprecedented step of commissioning land in the great outdoors that is destined to become an integral part of Malvern’s educational philosophy. Prep 1 and Prep 2 pupils in Malvern College Hong Kong have regular access to the Forest School in order to extend their education beyond the confines of the classroom walls, and will have exposure to a rich variety of exciting and challenging opportunities to enhance their learning in a truly holistic education.
The Forest School programme has a philosophy of child-led learning, with a focus on all the senses. Close supervision by trained Forest School Educators and school staff is balanced with the need for children to make their own decisions and explore. Children learn to think, question and problem-solve in mini projects, and communicate, collaborate and lead in small teams. Pupils grow in confidence and self-esteem, and increase their physical and social skills. These benefits have positive effects on all areas of their life and learning. The programme is run in all weather conditions as long as it is safe. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”. Our Forest School guiding principles cover: Warmth – Correct clothing, gumboots, waterproof etc; Food– Healthy snacks and meals; Drinks – Staying hydrated with water /hot drinks in colder weather; Safety – individuals feel safe both physically and emotionally.
Our Forest School Educational Sessions are designed around a theme; themes are sometimes subtle (e.g. evolving or exploring the site) or more obvious (e.g. science focused, butterflies, water, insects, ecosystems, fairies, or nature investigators). Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened through activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires by the Forest School Educators or environmental art, and so on. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
More information about the Forest School Learning Initiative can be found here.