What is Forest School?
Forest School is a unique way of building independence, self-esteem, and a positive attitude towards learning in children and young people as they explore and experience the natural world for themselves.
Because forest school learning is child-directed, the scope of the activities that can take place is enormous. Typical activities include:
• Sensory walks
• Shelter building
• Mini beast hunts
• Tree climbing
• Campfire cooking
• Nature art
• Games like Hide and Seek
• Fire building and lighting
• Puddle and mud jumping.
The idea of letting tiny children experiment with knives and fire might sound scary, but safety is paramount during forest school sessions.
All leaders have to have a Level 3 Forest School qualification, which covers essential safety training such as risk assessment and food hygiene.
Although children are encouraged to assess risk for themselves, this is always with close adult guidance. Staffing levels are high, too: for some activities, children are supervised one-to-one.
Generally, children will need sturdy boots (waterproof walking boots are better than wellies), a hat, waterproof jacket and trousers or an all-in-one suit, waterproof gloves, and layers of clothing – possibly thermals for winter plus spare socks.
What are the benefits to the children’s learning and development?
Confidence and self-esteem
Motivation and concentration
Risk awareness and self-management
Increased knowledge and understanding of the world with better connection with and respect for their environment
Can enhance classroom learning
When does Forest School take place?
Each class will be timetabled for sessions throughout the year. Parents will be sent a letter to inform them of their child’s session.