What is Forest School?
Forest School is a holistic approach which allows children to achieve following a process which is individually tailored to their needs. Children attending our Forest School are viewed as unique and valuable individuals who are entitled to choose and to initiate and drive their own learning. The Forest School experience allows them to feel competent to explore, discover and be challenged. They are able to take appropriate risks and experience regular success; all the while developing strong and positive relationships with themselves, others and the natural world.
The approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every session with discovery and difference. Yet each programme does follow an ethos and share a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers.
Forest School Ethos
Forest School is an inspirational process, which offers learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland or natural environment with trees.
It is a specialised approach that sites within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland learning.
Forest School Principles
- FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
- FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- FS is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
What should my child bring to a session?
They will need to bring a change of clothes including:
- At least 2 layers of top clothing
- jogging bottoms/trousers
- Waterproof coat.
- Waterproof trousers. These can be purchased at the school office.
- Waterproof hiking boots or wellingtons (with woolly socks in cold weather)
- A carrier bag to put wet/muddy clothes in
In some months you may need to provide other items to ensure that your child is comfortable. For example a hat, gloves, extra layers and extra socks in cold winter weather and a sunhat and sun-cream during the summer months. If you are having trouble providing suitable clothing please speak to Miss Staples.
It is ESSENTIAL that children are appropriately dressed for Forest School. Layers which can be added or removed are a must to ensure your child's comfort and enjoyment of sessions. The weather will not stop us from going out and having fun!
Is Forest School safe?
Sessions are planned and led by Miss Staples - our fully qualified Level 3 Forest School leader. All activities have been risk assessed and leaders and assistants have been fully trained. Your child will be encouraged to assess their own risk at every opportunity. Once trust has been built between the leader and your child, appropriate risk may be carefully introduced in a controlled manner.
Can we embrace the Forest School ethos as a family?
Yes! There are countless Forest School type activities you can do as a family. Taking your child for regular visits to the local woodland would be a fantastic start. Click on the link below to find out about your local woods:
These sites have lots of ideas for fun and easy activities you can do as a family:
Forest School Survey
We would like your feedback on your child's experience of Forest School. Please click the link and take the time to complete this short survey. Thank you for your help.