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Forest School and Animal Care

Here at NOA we provide Forest School and animal care interventions. Forest school is the name for an approach to educating children in the outdoors on a regular basis.  This work supports the main curriculum, and helps develop student independence, resilience, social, emotional and physical development.

Forest School is based on encouraging children and young people to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. In an environment outside the formal educational settings of classrooms, woodland creates its own learning environment framed by safety routines and established boundaries. Forest School believes that children have a right to play, to access the outdoors (especially in woodland environment), to access risk and the wonders of the natural world.  Forest School is led by the learners’ interest within a loosely structured framework of intended outcomes that builds on the interests and curiosity of the learner. During the programme students will experience a healthy range of emotions, through social interaction, which builds resilience that enables continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential both inside the classroom and out.

Forest School encompass practical skills which has shown to build on the understanding of the environment and human connection with it. Children can gain an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment and at the same time, improve physical, social and emotional well-being. The process acts to empower children, allowing them to reflect and share their experiences to help understand how their actions affect others, themselves and the environment.

Student voices forest school

Katie: ‘My favourite part was hiding in the forest, as it was peaceful and calm. I adored going outside…I love the adventures’


Jordan: ‘The best bit was robot wars….I love being outside’. We did nettle rope, frames, collage, obstacle courses, 123 where you?, collecting wood and much more. In Forest School I liked making fires and most of all making friends. It helps me because if I am ever feeling sad this is the place for me. I dislike one thing about Forest School and that is how long the period is! I want these sessions to be longer and more often!’


Ali: ‘Forest school is very adventurous, on the first day we made a swing! In forest school we made fires and dens, collected sticks and so much more….I would love to have another term of forest school…’


Morgan ‘I think Forest School is awesome and fun. The thing I liked the most was starting the fires and learning about different types of knots. I also liked collecting sticks and exploring the small woods. I had a great time at Forest School, it was very fun and nice to go out’


Will ‘Forest School is fun because we get to learn about how to make fires, how to keep safe in the wild and how to identify things like wild berries. We also make friends and do awesome activities like paper wars, whittling and sawing wood. I like Forest School…it calms me down’

Animal care

Animal care at NOA provides a number of different experiences for students. Children with no exposure to animals or nature in their home environment can see, feel, touch and make connections to the wide world of animals.

By observing and caring for an animal it instils a sense of responsibility and respect for life and brings increased sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others in both animals and humans. Students learn that all living things need more than just food and water for survival and see directly how their behaviour and actions affect others. Additionally, animal care has been proven to have a calming influence and that caring for animals in the classroom is one way of improving school attendance and teaching children about responsibility. We also use the animals at NOA to help students with anxiety and social and emotional development.


Helping to take care of an animal at NOA gives a child a sense of pride and accomplishment. Whether helping to empty a cup of dry food into the rabbit’s bowl, or filling the hamster’s water bottle; students involved in animal care at NOA are expected to fulfil their responsibilities and is something that they all take pride in and the benefits and results are evident. 

Student voice animal care

Luke: I began animal care at NOA because I'm not aloud my own animals at home and I sometime get stressed in school and the animals calm me down


Anna: I started taking care of the animals at NOA because I love animals   


Kyle: I started taking care of the animals because I wanted to know about more reptiles because I want a job with reptiles when I'm older


Sarah: I began animal care club at NOA because I had self-confidence issues and it helped me to make friends


Scott: I started taking care of the animals so I can learn more about more about them and it will help me get a future job and get into collage


Ryan: I started taking care of the animals because I love taking care of animals and I can’t have them at home because of my dog

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