St Michael's

Church of England Academy

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Forest School

Forest School


Forest School originated in Scandinavia in the 1950s and has been an integral part of early years learning since the 1980s.


The idea of Forest School was brought to the United Kingdom by a group of nursery nurse students and lectures from Bridgewater College in 1994, who had visited a Forest school setting in Denmark.


Their environment becomes the teacher and play becomes the natural medium for expression. The attitude towards risks during the sessions are positive.

Forest school is based on a desire to provide young people with an appreciation of the natural world, which encourages a love of conservation in later life.


The benefits of children experiencing Forest School are vast. The key features are:


  • Children learn the importance of boundaries

  • They learn to work with natural materials

  • They experience the outdoor environment

  • They are taught to use tools appropriately

  • They are encouraged to look after the outdoor environment

  • They build on their confidence and self esteem

  • They learn to assess risk, take on new challenges and accept responsibility

  • The teacher/pupil relationship is fundamentally different

  • The child leads the way in the learning

  • They learn through completing small achievable tasks

  • All of the children have great fun when learning in Forest School!