What is Forest School?

The Forest School Association define it as: ‘a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.

What happens during a Forest School Session?

Here at Senacre Wood Primary School, Mrs Reeves leads weekly sessions with one class per term, with each session lasting 2.5 hours. In that time, there are activities available for the children to attempt, if they so wish, or they are free to explore their own particular interests that day. Such interests might involve working as a team, creating a game, building shelters, climbing trees, swinging on the rope swings, using tools, cooking on the fire, playing in the mud kitchen or imaginative role play – or several of those! There is great opportunity for discussion and new learning in every session.

At the beginning of each session, everyone gathers at the entrance to the forest area and we recap the rules of the woods. Mrs Reeves then shares the activities that she has brought along and invites the children to share what they would like to do. The rest of the time is free for the children to fill as they wish - and there is rarely a dull moment. At the end, everyone gathers once more to reflect on what they have enjoyed the most and what they might like to explore the following week. Finally, we all take a moment of mindfulness to listen to what is around us and make us calm to return to school.

Forest School Skills Progression