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What Is Forest School?

Forest School as an educational approach is becoming more popular in a wide range of settings. It offers an antidote to the rising concerns that children’s experiences and activity with nature are decreasing.

The development of Forest School is greatly influenced by early pioneers in child-centred and experiential pedagogy, such as Rudolph Steiner and Maria Montessori.

These pedagogical ideas came soon after the Romantic Era which was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement well-known for celebrating individualism and appreciating nature.

Forest School was first introduced to the UK in the 1990’s following a visit to Denmark by nursery nurses from Bridgewater College, Somerset.

“Now it is spreading organically, spurred by concerns about children’s loss of contact with nature and worries that a cotton-wool-wrapped generation no longer gets the chance to take risks.”

Principles of Forest School

  • FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  • FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  • FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • FS is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice

For more information, please click here to visit the Forest School Association website.

​​​​​​​Feedback from sessions at Bents Green School

A sample of some of our feedback received from parents and professionals about our Forest School lessons.

“Ibby had a fabulous time.  He made popcorn and got hot chocolate and a fire!! He didn’t use his phone he said and he was keeping you entertained I hear.  I don’t believe I have ever seen him look so happy and contented.” SENCO feedback from visiting pupil 22/5/18

When asked, 100% of parents, carers and professionals surveyed say they Strongly Agree that they were welcomed and cared for, included in the lesson and that it helped their child to make progress. Satisfaction Survey Results