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Forest School

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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.

Principles of Forest School

  • It takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • It uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  • It aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • It offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • It is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Forest School Activities

The natural world offers so many opportunities for learning. Here are a few specific outdoor learning activity ideas linked to the Forest School approach. Many of these ideas could also work well in settings with limited access to outdoor spaces.

  • Cook on an open fire
  • Create a woodland nest for a bird
  • Create dens, shelters, bridges and sculptures
  • Collect colours from nature
  • Mark making exercises using natural materials
  • Create a woodland assault course for a squirrel
  • Hunt for minibeasts in trees, bushes etc
  • Create a bug hotel
  • Plant trees, lay hedges, maintain ponds
  • Climb trees
  •  Build fires
  • Listen to the heartbeat of trees (sap-rising)
  • Examine the shape, scent, sound and surface of various trees

Sawing and constructing

Clay prints

Den building


What our children saw about Forest School

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