Forest School is an outdoor learning process that every child (and adult!) can enjoy, encouraging freedom of action and thought.
This pioneering outdoor approach to teaching first came to the UK from Denmark in 1995 and has gained in popularity in the UK as more and more people recognise the benefits it offers, especially for children’s development.
The Forest School Association (the professional body for Forest School in the UK) defines it like this:
Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
It is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.
THE PRINCIPLES OF FOREST SCHOOLS
- 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