WHAT IS FOREST SCHOOL
Forest School comes originally from Scandinavia and was introduced to the UK in the 1990's.
It offers children opportunity to develop self confidence, independence and self motivation in an outdoor setting. Promoting physical fitness and wellbeing, it also teaches appreciation of the natural world.
Principles of Forest School:
A long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment. Sessions establish behavioural and physical boundaries and over time, are structured as necessary to enable children's progress in outdoor learning to develop at their own pace.
Takes places in a natural wooded environment, supporting the relationship between children and the natural world. Forest School uses natural resources for inspiration and monitors its environmental impact, aiming to foster a respectful and beneficial attitude to the natural world.
Aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, creating resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
Offers children the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. A high adult:child ratio allows tailored mentoring appropriate to the child, and gives opportunity to build on the child's innate motivation and attitude.
Run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. Leaders are required to hold a minimum of Level 3 Forest School qualification. They are subject to relevant check to ensure suitability for prolonged contact with young and vulnerable people. Leaders must hold up to date first aid qualifications and relevant working documents including policies, procedures and risk assessments for all activities, staff and volunteers.
Forest School uses learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning. Play and choice are an integral part, and leaders are responsive to the needs and interests of learners, providing a stimulus for all preferences. Leaders teach and partake in reflection of each session, enabling understanding of the children's achievements and development of their emotional intelligence.