What is Forest School?

Some feedback from recent Forest School:

Barcombe Primary:
“We’ve had a wonderful first year of Forest School. We have had staff, parents and school governors attending sessions and being really impressed by the whole experience, but best of all the response from all our learners has been extraordinary; children have totally embraced everything: the games, using the tools, fire and cooking, the plants and animals and their interactions with each other.

Some have emerged as natural leaders in contrast to often being least ‘able’ in the classroom and showed themselves to be able teachers and encouragers of others at Forest School.

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New interests have emerged and skills mastered and adapted to learners’ own purposes. Their free play has been a revelation of resourcefulness, creativity and capacity to enjoy.

Staff had to restrict the number of comments about Forest School at the leavers’ service because there were so many! Most spoke of continuing to seek those outdoor experiences for themselves.

Thank you and the rest of your team so much for your inspirational training which has lead to immeasurable rewards for me and in turn to all those I spend time with at Forest School. I hope to do more training with you!”

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Ringmer Primary:
“The Reception children love Forest School. It is wonderful to see them experiencing things we can’t provide in the classroom such as building woodland dens and cooking on an open fire.

Children who struggle to communicate become eager to speak and full of things to say, they have started to notice their world around them and make links to their experiences they have not been able to do before.

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I have seen timid children become brave and full of things to say. We have seen amazing results in writing and creativity. We have all loved it!””

Pumpkin Patch Nursery:
“Forest School has become so important. The children love it, they can explore and feel free in well thought out natural spaces.”

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What is Forest School?

Forest School roots reach back to Scandinavia where children take part, all year round, in nature clubs to learn and play in natural environments. Our Forest School is all about kids and what they want to achieve. Some may decide to learn how to craft, track birds or make fires, others might prefer to run in the woods, jump in puddles or climb trees. Whichever one they choose the important thing is to be outside, have fun and connect with nature.

Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visit.

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Why Forest schools?

Because being outdoors helps your child development in many ways:

Health and Fitness:  

  • It reduces considerably the risk of becoming overweight. A child that enjoys physical activities is less likely to become obese later in its life.
  • Being outdoors improves distance vision and lowers the chance of near sightedness
  • Nature appears to improve symptoms of ADHD in children by 30%.

Language and concentration:

  • It improves academic performance; schools with environmental education programmes score higher on standardized tests.
  • Daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus.

Social:

  • Nature makes you nicer, enhance social interactions and help building your confidence.
  • Children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces
  • Kids and teenagers give a true and sincere testimony of how they feel about nature after one of our many courses.

What do kids do?

  • Make crafts from natural resources.
  • Learn how to make fire safely.
  • Develop their confidence, imagination and physical ability through unstructured nature awareness games.
  • Look for flora and fauna in their natural environment.
  • Forage, cook and eat as a group.
  • Make dens and tracking animals.
  • Discover the secrets of ropes and knots.
  • Jump in puddles and climb trees.
  • Have Fun Outdoors!

What next?

Forest School being a long term process we found that the best way to do it is to work directly with local schools.

If you are a parent and want your child to be involved in Forest School, introduce the idea to their school!

If you are a school looking to start Forest School, all you need to provide is the Forest School ethos, available members of staff to work alongside the Forest School Leader, medical information on any particular conditions, and some enthusiastic children!

Our Forest School sessions with local schools and nurseries and our School Camps are run by Circle of Life Rediscovery’s Marina Robb, director and author of ‘Learning with Nature’.

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Learning with Nature has become a must have resource for school, outdoor educators and parents and has sold over 10,000 copies worldwide.

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Click the below for:

CPD Days/Outdoor Learning

Forest School Training Level 3 for adults

Transformative Learning

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

Tel: 01273 814226

Email: info@circleofliferediscovery.com