What is a Forest School?
“A 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.”
Forest School Leader Pack- Wales 2004.
A brief history of Forest Schools
- Forest schools originated in Sweden during the 1950’s as a way
of teaching children about the environment.
- Adopted in Denmark as a response to the lack
of establishments for early years provision.
- 1995 pioneered in the UK by Bridgwater College.
Who is it for?
- All ages and abilities.
- Toddler groups and parents.
- Nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.
- Corporate events.
Why is it different?
- The use of a wild setting.
- Managed risks.
- Freedom to explore using multiple senses.
- Regular contact.
- High instructor to learner ratio.
- Learning can be linked to the National Curriculum.
- Age appropriate skills and experience.
- Learning and development through free play.
- Transferable skills and abilities.
- Inspires the joy of lifelong learning.
- Links to SEAL curriculum.
- Dimensions of emotional literacy.
- Learning styles.
- Multiple Intelligences.
- Self esteem.
- Self image, perceptions of abilities, attributes, appearance that
come from significant others.
- From interactions with significant others child forms impression
of personal qualities which are admired and valued.
- The image of the ideal self.
- Self Esteem is seen as the distance between the two.
Why Forest School?
- Set realistic limits.
- Enforce rules consistently.
- Build trust.
- Develop respect and responsibility.
“Imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce
outcomes that are both original and of value.”
National Advisory Committee on Creative
and Cultural Education (1999) All our futures:
creativity,culture and education. London:DfEE