The Outdoor Classroom

From Scandinavia

Originally from Scandinavia, Forest School is for children of all ages and adults who can benefit greatly from hands on learning opportunities inherently present in a woodland setting. The philosophy of Forest School is to encourage and inspire children of any age through positive outdoor experiences. It can reduce stress levels, increase concentration and increase interest in learning for many children.

Innovative approach to the National Curriculum

Forest School is a way to learn and experience a broad curriculum in a woodland setting, through regular sessions (minimum of 6 visits) throughout the year. Learning is linked to the National Curriculum and EYFS in innovative and flexible approaches that allows for a range of learning styles providing a safe framework for children to make their own discoveries!

Forest School helps to develop:

  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Communication and social skills Physical skills
  • Greater understanding and awareness of the natural environment
  • Natural motivation and a positive attitude to learning
  • The ability to recognise and manage risks
  • Responsible independence and confidence to initiate own play and learning
  • A healthy life style

Looking to set up regular Forest School Sessions…

We develop an run in School Forest School programmes, working with what you have as an outdoor setting. We currently plan and deliver weekly Forest School Sessions in primary schools in East Sussex.  We can also work on a consultation basis to help set up a Forest School within your school helping you with the required policy writing,  undertaking risk assessments and setting up a suitable site.  We can also help with the purchasing of safety equipment, resources and ensure the correct materials are provided for.  This can vary from woodlands, gardens, even an urban setting or concrete play area. Email us your details (as we’re often busy out in the woods) and we’ll get back to you asap.

What happens at Forest school?

Forest School is an inspirational process that involves;

  • Woodland skills – tool use from sheaf knife to a hand drill
  • Environmental art, create using natural materials
  • Using National Curriculum and EYSF to help guide school visits
  • Story telling and music
  • Team games
  • Shelter building for shade and rain
  • Fire lighting, camp-fire cooking and kelly kettle use
  • Respect for ourselves, others and the environment
  • Seasonal projects
  • Child initiated learning responding to children’s ideas for play
  • Children develop responsible independence and confidence to take considered risks and initiate their own play and learning
  • Flora and fauna identification
  • Education for sustainability
  • Gardening
  • Mud kitchens

Guiding principles of Forest School

Here are the guiding principles and criteria for good practice of Forest Schools from the FSA Forest School Association:

  1. Forest School is a long term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest school. This tends to be one session a week.
  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world. Any natural space can be used from the school grounds to the local park.
  3. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. The focus being the process of how things are done and not the activity being undertaken.
  4. Forest school offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  5. Forest school is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
  6. Forest school uses a range of learner- centred processes to create a community for development and learning that is rooted in respect and equality, whereby mutual decision making and reflection time is a key aspect.