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Forest School

  • Forest School Philosophy & Pedagogy

    We believe children should experience life first hand. It is only then that they learn to be in control; making their own healthy decisions and facing new experiences with equanimity. Forest School encourages children to be responsible for their risk assessing and choices in play. We believe in encouraging children to think about their own safety and that of others, as well as being motivated to take control of their learning.  

    At Forest School, children are allowed time for free flowing, self-fulfilling play to make their own choices, to explore and to connect with nature and the environment; which in turn helps them develop an appreciation and respect for the natural environment. We aim to grow the children’s affinity to and love of nature, along with a positive environmental ethic, stemmed from regular contact with and play in the natural world. We recognise that natural environments stimulate social interactions, improve children’s cognitive development, reduce stress and link positively with the expansion of their imaginations and sense of wonder. 

    We believe it is important for children to explore their own interests and feel valued for their strengths, as well as being able to recognise others for their strengths and differences. Children need to feel confident to share their ideas and to make mistakes, as this is part of the learning process. 


    Principles and Practices

    Natural environments promote genuine well-being for both children and adults. The role of the Forest School Leader and Educators is to develop children’s interests enabling them to broaden their interests and extend learning. We believe that having an adult presence is fundamental and crucial for children to engage in regular and appropriate experiences in nature. Empathy, interest, professional training, and imagination are all prerequisites to understanding children’s interests.

  • Our Forest School Leader and Educators aim to: 

    • Develop relationships with children and facilitating communication
    • Enter children’s worlds, identifying and building on children’s outdoor interests, scaffolding play and sustained shared thinking
    • Providing opportunities for child-initiated play and outdoor play
    • Help children negotiate and maintain play and model inclusive behaviour
    • Support appropriate challenging and risky play
    • Teach children about the natural world and care of the environment
    • Provide opportunities for nature play in in natural environments on a regular basis
    • Work with parents, carers and children in outdoor spaces


    The forest program will ultimately provide:

    • Practical hands on experiences
    • Moral aspect – outdoors is a natural backdrop to learning and consolidating values
    • Nature presents a wealth of problem solving opportunities, pursuing children’s interest at their own pace and in their own time
    • Emotional aspect – children can connect with nature
    • Social aspect – natural encounters provide opportunities for cooperation and respect of others’ space