Forest School and the classroom
Forest School is a unique learning vehicle to encourage children to explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. The opportunity to spend time outside in a structured and supportive environment enables children to develop their understanding of the world, the environment and themselves, using their emotions, imagination and senses. Here is a link to an article from Primary Headship on Forest Schools and the classroom.
Wild Learning run in-school and after-school programmes integrating the unique Forest School experience with traditional curricular activities.
Forest Schools consciously generate positive social and emotional outcomes for children through child-led experiences in a woodland setting. There are strong links into Every Child Matters (2004), the Early Years Foundation Stage (2008), Playwork Principles (2005), Best Play (2000) and the National Curriculum at all stages.
Forest School programmes support and complement classroom learning, providing children with an extra dimension in their emotional, intellectual and academic development:
- Forest School can provide a dramatic contrast to the indoor classroom. Through skilled teaching, interpretation or facilitation, outdoor experiences readily become a stimulating source of fascination, personal growth and breakthroughs in learning that are carried into the classroom.
- In Forest School participants learn through doing, through encountering and through discovery. Children learn about the outdoors, about themselves and about each other, while learning outdoor skills. Active learning readily develops the learning skills of enquiry, experiment, feedback, reflection, review and cooperative learning that are crucial aspects of a developed adult personality.
- Forest School happens in the natural environment, where children can see, hear, touch and smell what’s happening. It’s also where actions have real results and consequences. Forest School helps to bring school subjects alive, and provides experiential opportunities for fulfilling the National Curriculum aim
“to enable pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity.” DfES & QCA, The National Curriculum, ‘Aims for the School Curriculum’ 1999.
- There is no limit to the experiences and curiosities that Forest School can arouse. Children discover potential, abilities and interests that surprise themselves and others. Safety codes provide clear boundaries and learning goals give clear direction, but energy and inspiration come from all around. Broadening horizons is an inevitable outcome.