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What is the Forest School Approach?

Forest School is a concept that can be linked back to the early work of some of the most influential educational theorists and has been well embedded in Scandinavian education. 

It involves children learning in the outdoors for prolonged periods of time whatever the weather! There is no such thing as bad weather for Forest School, just bad clothing choices!

Forest School gives children hands on learning opportunities in an environment that stimulates all of their senses. It encourages their curiosity, problem solving, independence and gives them the chance to take risks in a safe way. 

This video by Surrey Council demonstrates Forest School learning in action and gives more information regarding the benefits and approach of Forest School. 

"The richest classroom is roofed only by the sky." Margaret McMillan

Some of the many benefits..

  • Develops social skills

  • supports risk taking and risk management

  • develops knowledge of flora and fauna

  • supports physical and emotional health

  • opportunity to make a positive contribution to nature

  • child led 

  • develops problem solving skills

  • increases independence

  • develops physical skills

  • raises self-esteem and confidence

  • develops communication skills

  • the opportunity to slow down in a busy world

  • learn to use real tools

  • raises curiosity and questioning skills

  • stimulates the senses and creates memorable learning opportunities

  • develops care and concern for the world, each other and ourselves 

  • prioritised holistic development

"To be alive in this beautiful, self-organising universe- to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it- is a wonder beyond words."

Joanna Macy

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