Mountnessing Primary Forest School began in the autumn term of 2008 supported by Essex Outdoors. The Forest School idea grew from the staff’s desire to offer a curriculum which reflected learning based in the outdoor environment. Although the school has extensive grounds which the school already uses for a wide range of activities, it was felt that there was a need to show the children a different natural environment that would challenge them both physically and emotionally while extending their learning opportunities. The children attending Mountnessing Primary School are able to develop a life long love and understanding of the natural environment, whilst developing confidence and social skills which will lead to a more positive outlook and the raising of self-esteem.
The Forest School happens all year, in all weathers. Groups are warned that the Scandinavians believe that there is ‘no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!’ Children from classes 1 and 2 visit the woodland area on a regular basis throughout the school year with further opportunities to use the school site for Forest School activities. As the children move through the school there are still be occasions for them to visit the woodland site but not so frequently, to enable them to continue to develop areas of their personal, academic and spiritual development.