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Forest Schools


Why do children take part in Forest School?

What is Forest School?

The Forest School ethos is based on learning in a natural, outdoor environment to promote confidence and self-esteem. It is child led learning and the planning is based on the children's interests. We are lucky to have our own specially developed Forest School site, providing the children with an opportunity to regularly visit a natural outdoor environment.

Forest schools originated in Scandinavia in the 1950’s as a way of learning about the natural world. Forest School is a powerful tool for developing personal, social and emotional, physical and life-long learning skills in young people.

Forest School sessions at Charlotte are planned and run by Mrs Hood, a Level 3 Forest School Practioner, working alongside class teachers.

Forest School: Intent, Implementation and Impact

At Charlotte Nursery and Infant School, our Forest school helps our young people explore, learn and discover possibilities far beyond the limits of the school and classroom. Our core Forest School values are that we respect others, our natural environment and ourselves. We enable children to develop their well-being, natural curiosity and interests. We acknowledge that in order for children to develop as individuals, they need to be able to play, to learn and communicate with each other. We encourage autonomy, independence and confidence.

Children participating in Forest Schools have a half day session weekly. Our provision is in our own specially developed Forest School site. This time provides children with the time to experience their environment and be fully immersed in their learning. Mrs Hood is a qualified Forest School Leader and run sessions across KS1. Children develop practical skills such as knot tying, fire lighting and the safe, responsible use of tools.

Children are active, take ownership of their learning and develop their self-esteem through a variety of independent tasks. Children develop knowledge of sustainability and respect for their learning environment and the outdoors as a whole. They develop their teamwork skills and increase their capability to work together to solve problems in a variety of ways, taking into account one another’s ideas. Positive relationships are built through these sessions and children are both enabled and empowered to achieve their holistic potential.

How will my child benefit from Forest School?

Through the Forest School ethos we aim to provide children with opportunities to take measured risks, learn more about themselves and their relationships with others. Under the guidance of our fully qualified Forest School Leader we aim for all children to experience nature in a hands on, safe secure and supported environment. Activities are carefully planned to provide small achievable tasks so that no child will fail, thus helping to raise self-esteem and confidence in every child. Children learn how to work with and react to the natural environment.

What does my child need?

At Charlotte Nursery and Infant School we go out whatever the weather so appropriate clothing is essential. School can provide waterproof over coats and waterproof trousers, however where possible kit should be provided by the parent/carers.

  • Woolly hat/sun hat - depending on the weather.
  • Jacket/waterproof coat.
  • Fleece/jumper.
  • Waterproof trousers/long trousers.
  • Long socks
  • Sturdy footwear - trainers/wellies/boots
  • Gloves if cold weather.

Will my child be safe?

The short answer is yes, each Forest School session is fully risk assessed. There will always be a fully qualified Forest School leader along with other staff and parent helpers. Forest School sessions take place on school ground. Children will learn to manage their own risks and work within their personal physical and mental limitations.

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