Forest School

What are the benefits of Forest School for my child?
Forest school is an approach which builds your child's self-esteem and emotional intelligence, by fostering resilience, confidence, independence and creativity through use of the outdoor woodland environment. We believe Forest School is fundamental in a child’s development, health and well-being.

Forest school promotes both emotional intelligence and self-esteem through a range of strategies and approaches. The environment is a key tool in empowering learners and giving them responsibility, for example, by involving them in risk management, they feel independent and make significant decisions about their learning.

Forest school allows your child to first observe a new skill or activity being taught at base camp, and then gives them the opportunity to select an activity of their choice. This empowers your child to lead their own learning and focus on their unique interests. Adults facilitate learning and avoid telling your child what to do, but rather aim to adopt the role of a supportive and encouraging adult, where observation is key. This fosters confident and resilient learners who are not continually looking to adults to direct their learning.
At Forest school your child will be encouraged to explore the environment within set boundaries, which allows independent exploration allowing confidence and resilience to develop. This enhances self-esteem and confidence as your child feels they are able to explore without being interrupted and told what they should or should not be learning. A child is given the responsibility and the independence to make their own choices which increases levels of self-worth as adults trust them to make decisions. Children are able to become creative learners, by exploring their environment and making choices about what activities and learning they engage in. Forest school can support development of empathy through developing an environment where all members of the group are equal and encouraging children to talk to each other about how they feel. Staff can model empathy through reflective activities at the end sessions that focus on how members of the group felt and what they enjoyed and found challenging during the session.
Being in the outdoor Forest school environment on a regular basis fosters high levels of independence as children have to help get themselves ready changing into suitable outdoor clothing and often manage their own needs.
Forest school also develops a sense of belonging as your child shares new and exciting experiences with others such as campfires and cooperative group and team games. Friendships develop and children help and support each other during outdoor learning which often encourages different friendship groups to the indoor environment.
Levels of self-esteem are also increased by careful and appropriate use of praise and recognition of success. This is possible for all children as tasks are small and achievable. Your child will not be in a situation where they feel they cannot do an activity as there are no specific pre-defined outcomes. Forest Schools are fun! It is educational whilst also allowing children to play, explore and discover.  Children who participate in Forest Schools are generally observed to be happier. The fresh air, the excitement, getting mucky – it doesn’t get more child friendlier than that.