FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an inspirational process delivered in a learner centred way through hands on experiences. This creates confident learners who connect to and treasure the natural world.

The Forest School objective is to allow children and young people (from early years to 18 year olds) achieve their own goals while enjoying their learning experience and connecting with nature at all times. Some may decide to make a wooden puppet or bentwood chair, while others take interest in tracking animals or learning and caring for woodland birds. Learners may want to master climbing trees, experiment with puddle play or cook over a fire, the choices are endless.

Susan Fire Wyre Forest

Forest School’s success proved through research
A current risk to our health is a lack of physical activity and connection to the natural world. Research has shown that long term learning in a woodland environments combined with ‘risky’ play can improve health as well as attention to learning and resilience.

(See:https://www.academia.edu/3410606/CHILDREN_S_RISKY_PLAY_IN_EARLY_CHILDHOOD_EDUCATION_AND_CARE)

Real applications
While having fun, struggling sometimes with the challenges, learners get real applications for aspects of development such as numeracy – working out what size and shape of sticks and wood they need to make sometimes complex ‘houses’ in the woods can be a real mathematical challenge! It has been shown that Forest School improves educational attainment and the learning has a real purpose.

Transferable skills
When taking part in Forest School, learners take more interest in their own learning and can transfer skills such as sustained attention, improved communication and more creative thinking to everyday learning. 

 

Nordic Slinging West Sussex 2016

 

 “ I feel that CM’s self-esteem took a big boost when she persevered with her Forest School project over the term – lighting the fire, devising a menu and then cooking.  Her working alongside others in a co-operative, self lead and sensitive mentoring way was something I had never seen before, bringing out teamwork qualities we hadn’t seen in her school career of 6 years!”  - Hannah Todd Key Stage 2 Teacher.