What is Forest School
Forest Schools have been growing in the UK since the early 1990s as an innovative educational approach that immerses children in nature.
Forest School encourages children’s emotional and physical development through outdoor play and exploration. Spending regular time in nature is a wonderful chance for children to connect with their environment and enhance their well-being. From its roots in Scandinavia the concept is now gaining popularity worldwide, Forest School aims to cultivate curiosity, independence, and a deeper connection with the natural world.
Why integrate Forest School into your school?
Participating in Forest School offers numerous advantages for children. It encourages physical activity, improving motor skills and fitness, while also enhancing mental well-being through exposure to fresh air and green spaces. Children develop problem-solving abilities by engaging in unstructured play and exploration, sparking creativity and critical thinking. Time and again we hear it recounted how a child who finds it hard to connect with their subject, or find motivation in a classroom setting, will come alive in the outdoors and during their Forest School sessions.
“It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.” Forest School Association
The freedom to explore the outdoors builds confidence, self-esteem, and resilience, as children overcome challenges in a non-traditional setting. If a school is considering initiating Forest School in their grounds, there are many fantastic benefits they will acquire.
The benefits of a Forest School setting.
Integrating nature-based learning can enhance traditional classroom education by promoting interdisciplinary understanding, boosting enthusiasm for learning, and improving attention spans. And it’s not just the pupils who benefit from getting outdoors! A ‘forest’ environment can provide a stimulating backdrop for lessons, inspiring educators to innovate teaching methods.
Forest School is a powerful approach that nurtures children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development while fostering a sense of wonder and respect for the environment. This method not only benefits children by promoting holistic growth but also offers schools a dynamic tool to enrich their curriculum and create well-rounded learners and leaders.