Forest School was developed in the mid 90's to support Early Years education through providing activities in the natural world that promote learning and personal development.
"Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees"
Forest School Association and Forest Education Network.
Forest School relates closely to the guiding principles of the government's statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
1) Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
Forest school offers a safe and supportive environment in which children develop physically and emotionally through co-operative activities and play. Sessions take place all year round so children can experience seasonal change and learn to be resilient in cold and wet weather. Forest School is child-lad allowing children to build confidence by informing decisions and trying new things.
2) Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
Games, practical tasks and sensory activities help children develop personally and socially. Self-confidence and communication skills increase as children work with and look out for others. Children often initiate ideas about how the woodland space can be transformed and invite others to join in.
3) Children learn and develop well in enabling environments
Being in the woods helps children to understand the world they live in, whether it's the natural world around them or heir relationships with others. The woodland environment provides opportunities to be near others or be away from the group.
4) Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates
Forest School aims to create a positive environment where all participants feel valued. Leaders set tasks that can be achieved at a range of levels. This helps children to achieve whilst progressing at their own rate. Woodland sessions allow children to explore and experience things on their own terms and to self-motivate.