Forest School

Our Vision

All pupils leave school nature connected and with the learning behaviours, knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to equip them for an open-air culture, friluftsliv, or free air life, seen as a way of life in Scandinavia where Forest School began.


Forest School originates from Sweden where it has been continually developing since the mid 50’s. The main focus is to deliver all aspects of the curriculum in the outdoor environment. Through various studies it has been proven that children who experienced outdoor learning developed socially, had deeper concentration, improved behaviour and increased overall academic attainment. Forest school will give children the opportunity to develop self-confidence through self-learning through natural play facilitated by trained professionals.

What is Forest School?

Forest School is based on the principle that children of all ages can benefit greatly from the learning opportunities inherently present in a woodland environment. Forest Schools provides opportunities in an outdoor setting for children to develop a variety of skills: particularly PSHE skills such as independence, self-discovery, communication, self-esteem and confidence building. Children learn to take risks, use their initiatives and co-operate. Beyond this, the leader can use the outdoor environment as a vehicle for art activities, key science concepts, developing physical skills and a whole lot more!

In a typical session there may be an adult-led activity, but the ethos of Forest Schools also allows time for children to follow their own learning pathways and interests and adults then support them in their learning. This learner-centred approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every Forest School session and programme with discovery and difference.

My child is taking part in Forest School – what do they need?

Parents will receive notification from the school when it is their child’s turn to take part in Forest School – this is usually for a term at a time.

This year we are introducing a new Forest School scheme to the school. It is called Wild Passport and is a useful framework for monitoring skill progression. We will be able to record the progress made by learners as they gain knowledge and practical skills in their outdoor sessions. The skills will include: Fire, Shelter, Rope, Woodcraft and Nature.

It is important to be aware that ALL sessions will take place outdoors in all weathers including rain.  Please be sure that your child has all of the following with them on the day of their session.

  • Casual trousers, long sleeved shirt and jumper that you don’t mind getting dirty or stained. Please note, they may be digging in the soil and making mud pies.  Please don’t send in new clothing or clothing you would be upset about if it doesn’t wash clean.
  • Welly boots and warm socks.
  • Waterproof Jacket/Coat and trousers OR an all-in-one puddle jump suit.
  • Gloves and hat (cooler months)
  • Sun hat (summer months) – please also ensure that sunscreen is applied before coming into school

Forest School Overview HCLS