What is Forest School?
Forest School is a specialised approach that is part of a wider context of Outdoor learning. Its key principles are:
1) Forest School occurs over a period of time and is not a one off visit. It is an approach that uses an outdoor environment and provides young people an opportunity to develop fully.
2) It occurs in a natural environment, this may a woodland, however other sites are also able to support the Forest School approach.
3) Forest School aims to develop the whole child, linking the child to nature, home and school. Its multi-sensory approach develops physical, intellectual, emotional and social aspects of the child.
4) It is a safe environment that allows young people to explore with a degree of risk that is appropriate to the learner and is supported by the Forest School leader who has fully risk assessed the activity/area.
5) It is led by trained practitioners – who are trained at a minimum of Forest School Level 3. There are a high proportion of leaders/young people. Leaders are first aid qualified and DBS (CRB) enhanced checked.
6) It is an approach that is centred on the learner. It allows young people to make choices about their learning, to explore these in a “playful” way. Forest School leaders observe and interact with the learners to allow them to reflect on their learning