What is Forest School?
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. (Forest School Association)
At Eastbrook Primary Academy, through our Forest School sessions, we hope to encourage independent, enthusiastic and creative learners who develop holistically through a well-planned and child-centred approach.
Forest School Principles:
Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
Principle 2: It takes place in a natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world. We are currently building links to have a wood to regularly visit.
Principle 3: We aim to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
Principle 4: We will provide learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
Principle 5: Our Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. Mrs Geden and Mrs Ross are Level 3 Forest School Leaders. Mrs Shephard and Mr Squires are level 2 Forest school assistants.
Principle 6: We will use a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
The Forest School Principles and other information can be located at:
Forest School Ethos
At Eastbrook Primary Academy we are committed to the ethos of Forest School and our aim is to:
- Make every child feel equal, unique and valuable
- Give learners the confidence to explore & discover
- Allow learners to experience appropriate risk and challenge within Forest School boundaries
- Give learners the opportunity to choose, initiate and drive their own learning and development to promote independence
- Promote self-esteem and experience regular success
- Promote positive behaviour to ensure the smooth and safe running of every Forest School session
- Encourage a strong, positive relationship with the natural world around them
Every session will be planned to promote holistic development, giving learners the opportunity to be independent whilst undertaking a range of tasks.
Leaders will observe children and adapt planning to suit the needs of individual children to ensure a sense of achievement which in turn boosts self-esteem.
Every child across the school will receive an initial first session, then an allocated block of sessions in their classes.
Expectations of behaviour will be discussed with the learners and boundaries set for each session, alongside the school behaviour policy.
F – Freedom to explore within the boundaries
O – Opportunities to take appropriate risks
R – Respect others and the natural world
E – Enthusiasm for learning
S – Safe use of equipment
T – Trust
Weather and Clothing
Forest school sessions run in almost all weathers, except extreme conditions. For example: high winds or lightning storms.
Children and Adults need to be dressed appropriately to be able to participate fully in the session.
For each Forest School Session, children require the following in a named bag.
- Long trousers (not shorts or skirts) – this reduces the risk of bites or scratches
- Long sleeved top
- Wellies or suitable footwear for outdoor use
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- In colder weather extra layers may need to be worn for example: hats, leggings, fleece
- In warmer weather sun cream and hats should be worn (supplied from home)
Useful websites and resources