Forest View is a thriving, therapeutic primary school campus in the heart of Lochwinnoch – a semi-rural village in the west of Scotland.
Our school provides an inspiring education for up to 30 children between the ages of 5 – 12, who need a helping hand to engage with learning. The school provides a safe, nurturing and supportive classroom environment where children attend as day pupils or may stay in one of our residential care houses with access to our education provision.
For many of our pupils, education can be a challenge due to complex emotions and/or behaviours, often as a result of trauma or adversity. For these children, we provide an enriching education in line with Curriculum for Excellence, with an emphasis on stability, structure and therapeutic supports to help them access learning.
Therapeutic, trauma-informed practice is at the heart of Forest View and is embedded in everything from the furniture to the classroom resources, training and culture.
Forest View is no ordinary primary school, it’s a place where learning comes to life. A place where happy childhood memories are made, where boys and girls splash in muddy puddles, go on adventures, and explore the abundant wildlife.
An Enriching Education
The curriculum is rich and varied, following the Broad General Education in the same way as mainstream schools. To support learning, class sizes at Forest View are smaller with up to six pupils per classroom, and each is supported by a Classroom Support Worker. Every opportunity is a chance to learn and the acres of forest ground provide a backdrop for outdoor learning and play.
Each pupil has a bespoke education package. This considers their needs and interests to help shape their educational experience, encouraging ongoing progress and attainment.
Forest View promotes human-animal interaction and pupils engage with dogs, ponies, horses and other small animals. The great outdoors give freedom to explore and learn about the ecosystem, fine-tune motor skills and learn about risk. Pupils put on their welly boots and waterproofs to build bridges and dens, with literacy and maths lessons also being taught in the forest with the support of our animal friends.
TES Scotland published an insight into Forest View, the therapeutic primary school and explained how the dogs have helped with literacy. It is quite possible that a child arriving at Forest View would not be able to read at the age of 8 or 9, or even recite the alphabet. After one or two months, however, parents have been “astounded” by progress, says Angela Pilkington, depute headteacher. Encouraging pupils to read to a dog has been a factor: the bond between the two and the tranquillity of the dog help the child to relax and find enjoyment in books, which they might previously only have associated with stress and anxiety.
Crucially, the dogs are a permanent feature: with the school having researched in detail how staff can help vulnerable pupils, the conviction is that their impact can be so profound that there should always be some time with the dogs – and other animals – just around the corner.TES Scotland January 2020
Helping Children Thrive: Therapeutic Supports
Child and Adolescent Therapists are based at Forest View, providing ongoing support to the children and their families. We support children to make sense of their experiences and develop a range of emotional regulation and behavioural skills which will enable them to cope better in the classroom and at home, enabling fuller participation in school life. The therapeutic supports we provide to families, helps them strengthen their capacity to fully support their child’s engagement in education.
A key worker is assigned to each child, who will speak to their family every morning, at points throughout the school day, and at home time. Relationships for us are absolutely key. We’re not going to have success with our pupils unless we’re all working together.Angela Pilkington, depute headteacher
Find Out More
To enquire about places at Forest View, please contact Kibble on 0141 889 0044, or email [email protected].
We welcome visitors to come and see Forest View and explore the diverse learning experiences for pupils.
Executive Director for Education[email protected]
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