What Is Forest School?

Fireside Forest School provides a safe environment in which to learn a variety of social and practical skills through play and outdoor activities

Fireside Forest School provides a safe environment in which to learn a variety of social and practical skills through play and outdoor activities

Forest School is a way of allowing people to learn about themselves personally and socially, by engaging with others in a natural environment.

The Main Principles of an effective Forest School are:

  • Safety
    We all need to be and feel safe… but we all need to be able take risks and therefore learn from them. To do this we encourage a ‘safe-enough’, but not ‘risk-free’ environment. We all need to have fun!
  • Clear, Understandable Boundaries
    We all need to know where we stand, so we maintain clear and consistent time, behaviour and physical boundaries.
  • Person-centred activities
    We encourage people to feel in control of their choices. This not only increases self-esteem but also allows us to learn at our own pace in our own way.
  • Small Achievable Targets
    Each session is part of a series of sessions, as we like to think about our activities as small steps on a longer journey.
  • Most weather is fine…
    if you are dressed for it! Going out in all weather helps us feel stronger and healthier and able to cope with life’s bigger ups and downs.

Activities at Forest School can include: Exploring Nature, Flora and Fauna identification, Tracking, Conservation, Coppice Regeneration, Woodland Management, Soft and Hard Landscaping, Den Making, Primitive Tool Design and Craft, Greenwood Working, Leatherworking, Charcoal Making and the Iron-age Forge, Singing, Storytelling, wind-chimes, Crafty Art and Plant Pigments, Whittling sticks and Bows and Arrows, Wood Carving, Wide Games, Camp Fire Cooking and Gazing at the Embers as it all settles gently into place…