The Forest School Association describes Forest School as a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
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.
Our curriculum is planned to ensure the following skills and behaviours are taught explicitly, fostered sympathetically and celebrated as the norm in our children:
• Intrinsic motivation
• Good social communication skills
• A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
• Ability to take risks and experience challenge
• Ability to explore and discover and experience success
• A strong, positive relationship with the natural world
Taking measured and safe risks in our forest area is a large part of developing resilience, and confidence. This in turn has huge benefits in the classroom where children are comfortable to take learning risks, challenge themselves and respond well to feedback and challenge. Being able to reflect on success and failures are important life skills we develop age appropriately in all our children.
Staff who lead our Forest School are qualified and experienced.
A learner centred approach views learners as active agents; our children bring their own knowledge, past experiences, education and ideas- and this impacts how they take on new information and learn. The curriculum is planned to allow children to make choices about what and how they learn thus empowering them and leading to embedded learning.