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What is Forest School?

“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.” (Forest School Association)

The ethos of Forest School allows learners the time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences. Forest school activities are child led but we do offer a range of springboard activities which are often inspired by the topics of each class. Past activities have included:

  • Den building
  • Arts and crafts using natural materials
  • Mud painting
  • Camp fires
  • Digging in the digging area
  • Role play
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Bug hunts
  • Building a bug hotel
  • Using tools safely

Forest School is a child led approach which allows children to learn:

  • To love and respect nature
  • To be adventurous and confident
  • To recognise and understand their own emotions
  • To manage their own learning
  • To assess and take reasonable risks

Risk Taking

  • During Forest School sessions, children have opportunities to take risks such as using tools, climbing trees, getting muddy and building dens. The Forest School area has been risk assessed and is as safe as possible. By being allowed to take risks, the children learn to judge risks for themselves and become less dependent on adults.
  • Adults may need to intervene to prevent accidents and will need to use common sense to decide when this is necessary.

What Happens in Forest School?

A typical Forest School session begins with changing into our waterproofs and wellies, then walking to Base Camp which is in our Forest School area at the back of the school. In Base Camp we recap our rules:

  • No picking
  • No licking
  • Stay inside the boundaries
  • Look after your Forest School

These help us to keep safe and protect our Forest School area.

Then we usually carry out a short activity, before having some free time to explore, play and learn independently. At the end of the session, we all meet again in Base Camp to share our experiences.

Take a look at the photos to see what our children have been doing in Forest School.


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