What is Forest School?
Forest School is a programme of activities that takes place on a regular basis and provides learning opportunities in an outdoor environment. Children will enjoy the freedom to explore and experience the natural world in all seasons and in all weathers. The outdoor environment inspires children to grow in self-esteem, confidence, independence and social skills through small achievable tasks. They will learn how to risk assess and set boundaries to which they must work within. As the children grow in confidence they will undertake new experiences and take appropriate risks in a nurturing environment whilst remaining safe and in control. They will learn about the natural world around them and gain an appreciation for nature which will encourage them to be responsible for the environment in later life.
History of Forest School
Forest School originated in Denmark in the 1980s. It was based on the idea that young children can develop enthusiasm for education through an appreciation of nature and boosted pupils’ confidence, social skills and improved their behaviour.
Forest School was started in this country by a team from Bridgewater College in Somerset where in 1993 they visited Denmark and were inspired by the Danish education system which encouraged learning in the outdoor environment. Since then Bridgewater College has developed training courses for Forest School Leaders to enable them to deliver sessions within their own communities
Forest School at Riseley
The use of Forest School at Riseley is still in the development phase. Children from both the Early Years and Key Stage 1 have weekly Forest School sessions as part of their curriculum. The school is fortunate to have two Level 3 Forest School Leaders.
From April 2022, children from EYFS to Year 4 will have a weekly Forest School session as part of their curriculum.