What is Forest School?
Several grades at BES participate in Forest School. Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in the forest. Forest visits continue throughout the year, allowing children to experience all weathers and the changing seasons. Forest schools are for all learners, of any age, and are often led by the students' interests. The main goals of forest school in primary age children includes encouraging curiosity and exploration with all of the senses, empowering children in the natural environment, and encouraging spatial awareness and motor development.
Benefits of Forest School
• Improved confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, and concentration
• Improved physical stamina, fine and gross motor skills
• Positive identity for individuals and communities
• Increased love and desire to care for the environment
• Healthy and safe risk-taking, reduces stress
• Increased patience, self-discipline, capacity for attention and recovery from mental fatigue
• Improved higher level cognitive skills
Starting during the 2022-2023 school year, Fifth graders will be working with State Forester David Paganelli to build a deer exclosure in Low St. John Forest. Students will be taking annual measurements, measuring the impacts of deer browse on forest regeneration. The deer exclosure is intended to exclude deer from a small area of regenerating forest. Where deer populations are high, the exclusion of deer and the subsequent protection from deer browse within the deer exclosure can result in faster growth rates of woody vegetation and greater species diversity compared to areas outside the fenced area that are outside of the fence that is accessible to feeding deer. It is expected that the enclosure study will have a 10-year lifespan. The enclosure will be 20' x 20' with an 8' fence enclosing the area.