What is Forest School?

Forest School is a unique philosophy and approach to outdoor play and learning.  It involves being outdoors (ideally in a woodland) and using the environment and natural resources as a setting and stimulus for learning.

According to the Forest School Association (FSA) “Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland or natural environment with trees.” https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/

At Forest School children regularly visit the same local woodland or outdoor area.  They explore and play together, learning about the natural environment and the resources that the woodland has to offer through the changing seasons.  They learn new skills and are encouraged to think creatively and challenge themselves.

Forest School sessions last between half a day and a full day and take place regularly and ideally over a long period of time.  Children have the time and space to re-visit familiar activities and develop new ideas, working together and building friendships.  The role of the adult is to facilitate learning through providing guidance and resources to enable children to play and explore safely; developing their confidence, understanding and imagination.



Over time Forest School helps to build children’s confidence, self-esteem and social skills.  They become more independent, able to solve problems by themselves and able to assess and manage risks.  Their knowledge and understanding of the natural environment increases, along with their desire to protect their special space and the plants and animals that live there.  Children become more ‘connected’ with nature.  Being outside in all weathers helps to build children’s resilience and they are naturally active at Forest School which helps improve levels of fitness.  The natural environment provides physical challenges that support the development of balance and co-ordination.  All good reasons to find out more about what we offer at Charlotte’s Wood!

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