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Highbury Primary School

Forest School

At Highbury Primary school, we want our children to be respectful, resilient, confident, kind, inclusive and aspirational. We aim to provide the children lots of opportunities to develop the life-long skills to be responsible citizens. One of these approaches is through Forest school.


Suitable Clothing Children should wear long trousers (not jeans) and a long sleeved T-shirt for protection from stings and bites. Layers of old clothing are best as they protect from the cold.  Please note: forest school clothes will get dirty!
Suitable Footwear -in wet weather, wellington boots with 2 pairs of socks and in drier weather, old trainers
Hat sunhat or warm woolly hat depending on the weather
Wet Weather Clothing

waterproof trousers and coat.

Please note: waterproofs are very important as we will be outside even in heavy rain! They can also help keep you warm on colder days and help to keep you clean.

What is Forest School?

Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.

It is described as;

“An inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults, regular opportunities to achieve, and develop confidence and self esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.”  Forest Education Initiative 2005a

  • Forest School originated in Europe in the early 20th century in Scandinavia.
  • During the 1980s it became part of the Danish Early Years programme.
  • In 2006 it was estimated that there were approximately 140 forest schools in Britain.

What are the 6 key principles of Forest School?

6 key principles

  • Empowers children and encourages them to take responsibility for their own learning
  • Promotes holistic, individualised learning 
  • Encourages emotional growth, self esteem, confidence and independence
  • Long term, repetitive learning process 
  • Facilitated by qualified L3 Forest
  • Instils a deep respect and awareness for the natural world

What is Holistic Development?

Holistic Development happens when... ‘Cognitive, social, cultural, physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of human development are integrally interwoven’.

What does the research say?

Resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

Recent research carried out in Wales and England by the New Economics Foundation found that children who took part in forest school activities gained greater self-confidence, the ability to work in a team, more motivation to learn, and pride in their surroundings.

TES , Back to Earth, 3 July 2009

What are the children learning?

Messing about in the woods?

  • Forest school activities are carefully planned to enable a mixture of adult-led skills to be taught, but children have the choice to explore and design their own activities too.
  • Staff understand that when children are outside they are learning and that as adults their role is not merely one of supervision.

Through learning about The Great Outdoors, children also learn about Science, Art, Literacy, Maths, History, Geography, Music and DT.