What is Forest School?
"Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment" - Forest Education Initiative (FEI)
Based on a Scandinavian idea of embracing the outdoors as a learning environment, Forest School involves children and young people working with a qualified Forest School leader on a frequent and regular basis throughout the year (ideally once a week) in a local woodland setting or on a designated Forest School site. Some sites have been developed on school grounds.
They follow their usual curriculum, but in an outdoor context, using learning and teaching strategies which raise self-esteem and develop confidence, independence, language and communication skills. The Forest School leader works with the school/setting staff to carry themes looked at in the classroom into the woodland.
- Forest School is an approach to education that embraces the outdoors as a learning environment
- It is about children, young people and adults experiencing regular, weekly sessions in a designated Forest School site
- Children follow their usual curriculum but in an outdoor context, using learning and teaching strategies which raise self esteem, develop confidence, independence and language and communication skills
- Children are intrinsically motivated outdoors. The natural world stimulates their desire to learn and discover. We all learn better when we have a real interest in what we are doing
- Many children and young people benefit from and prefer a practical element to their learning, and achieve greater levels of success in this context than a traditional classroom environment
- Behaviour and desire to learn improve and impact on achievement
- At Forest School children learn to assess and manage risks and develop life long learning skills
- Forest School has physical, social and health benefits; helping young people to enjoy physical activity outdoors in increasingly sedentary lives
- Confidence increases in the natural environment, with respect, knowledge and understanding about environmental issues locally and nationally