The Forest School Ethos

Forest School is a unique programme offering hands-on learning experiences in woodland or other natural environments. The aim is to develop the person as a whole by providing opportunities for them to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem. Sessions are planned and led by a Level 3 Forest School Leader,  however, the Forest School ethos is based around participant-led learning.

Forest school gives children the opportunity to explore the outside world, through child-led play and exploration and structured activities in a woodland setting. This environment, where children are encouraged to take risks and be at the centre of their learning helps to foster children’s curiosity, creativity, independence and self-esteem. Completing small achievable tasks, coupled with genuine praise from adults, helps to boost confidence and self-esteem. For children at school, attitudes to learning are improved as they discover learning can be fun and enjoyable. This new, positive outlook is then transferred to the classroom, where they are found to be more motivated and better able to concentrate.

 Link to: Forest School Handbook

Forest School encourages children to:

·      Develop personal and social skills
·      Work through practical problems and challenges
·      Use tools to create and build
·      Discover how they learn best
·      Learn how to manage failures
·      Build confidence in decision making and evaluating risks
·      Develop practical skills
·      Understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle
·      Explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth
·      Regularly experience achievement and success
·      Reflect on learning and experiences
·      Develop language and communication skills
·      Improve physical motor skills
·      Become more motivated
·      Improve concentration skills

Activities can include:

·      Collecting, identifying and sorting natural materials
·      Developing stories and drama
·      Fire lighting and camp cooking
·      Gardening
·      Making bird boxes
·      Natural art
·      Observing and studying wildlife
·      Shelter and den building
·      Team and group games
·      Using knots
·      Woodwork – using tools

Forest School location

We have a designated area in the woodland behind our Explorers Challenge, and at times we use other parts of the school grounds. Our site is a beautiful area made up of mainly deciduous trees such as oak, maple, sycamore and birch. The secure site is within school grounds and is not accessible to the general public.

Photos from Term 1, 2023-24: