What is Forest School?

We run weekly Forest School sessions at all of our nursery sites.

Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia where the concept is now well established as a way of learning. Forest Schools move the “classroom” into the outdoor environment and there are many widely recognised advantages of this approach to early years education. 

The Forest School approach to learning is exciting and inspirational in which children participate in a series of sessions in the natural environment. Children are offered rich opportunities to promote their well being and confidence in the outdoor environment and are given the freedom to develop their own ideas, make decisions, solve problems and take risks.

The fun we have at Forest School...

What happens at Forest School?

Children  spend the whole morning or afternoon session in the “forest”. They will be supplied with suitable protective clothing (waterproof dungarees) so that sessions will take place regardless of the weather. Parents are asked to ensure that their children have other suitable outdoor clothing ie hats gloves coats so that the children are adequately prepared to face the elements.

Sessions  take place in the private wood opposite the nursery in Badminton (by kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Beaufort) and in the grounds of Somerset House in Tormarton (by kind permission of Mr and Mrs B Finnemore)

All equipment necessary for the session is taken with us including water bottles and snacks.

The exact detail of the session will depend on the children but they are likely to be involved in activities such as

  • Storytelling
  • Mini beast hunts
  • Den making
  • Circle time
  • Collecting/sorting
  • Investigating
  • Recording
  • Mark making
  • Listening

What are the benefits of Forest School?

  • Children are given the opportunity to experience the elements and enjoy “real” experiences
  • Offers opportunities to learn that caters for different learning styles – learning is more informal and stimulates thinking forming the basis of life long learning
  • Space and freedom to move around and develop physical skills – active learning
  • Develops risk taking and more importantly develops the understanding of risk in a managed way
  • More time to explore and investigate and develop own ideas
  • Open – ended with no pre-requisite end result – develops self esteem and sense of pride in own achievements
  • Provides opportunities for real creativity and imaginative play
  • Physically challenging with associated health benefits
  • Is fun!