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Forest School
  • Forest school is a program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It is a philosophy that aims to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on experiences in a natural setting.

  • It is governed by SIX core principles:

    • Principle 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.​

    • Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

    • Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

    • Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

    • Principle 5. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

    • Principle 6. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.  (FSA, 2023).

  • Forest School is a nature based community where trained practitioners nurture learner-led exploration and discovery. 

  • Forest School has been shown to improve confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, physical skills and knowledge and understanding.

  • Forest School is NOT just another word for outdoor learning, but a specific approach to learning with set principles.

  • Forest School is delivered by qualified leaders who are trained in reflective practice. 

  • You can train to be a Forest School leader or practitioner. These qualifications are ranked in levels: 1,2 & 3:

Level 1: Introduction & volunteer

Level 2: Assistant training

Level 3: Leadership training

For more information:

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