Forest School Ethos

  • Forest school gives children the time, space and opportunity to learn through first- hand experience within a woodland setting. It gives them the chance in to develop their curiosity, respect, self-esteem and confidence. It is based on a fundamental respect for children and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in giving children the chance to play; the opportunity to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world. Through Forest school the children experience a healthy range of emotions, face the challenges of social interaction, and build a resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential.

    The Forest School ethos has six principles, which were agreed by the UK Forest School community in 2011.

    • 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.