A Childs View of Forest School
Forest School articles
Articles, blogs & news items, from the UK & internationally, featuring evidence & expert opinion on Forest Schools and its benefits.
Arranged, as much as possible, in chronological order, most recent at the top. If you have news, articles or blogs to add let us know via email@example.com. Thank you.
A Child's Eye View of Forest School
To an outside eye a Forest School session might ‘just’ look like playing outdoors - all fun and games – some might even ask ‘what is the point?’ Outdoor practitioners understand there is so much going on, if you only stop and observe. Sarah Rix of Milford Pre School Plus, Lymington, Hampshire offers some insights into what is really going on...
DONCASTER FOREST SCHOOL: CHITTER CHATTER
The theory and practice of developing a pilot Forest School programme for disadvantaged families.
Forest in the City
Louise Black, deputy headteacher of an urban primary school in London, on the importance of outdoor provision for all, and how the children she works with benefit from connecting to nature.
Forest School stories - arson on site
Interview with FS leader Sam Victoria of My Little Explorers about a shocking event on site and what she learned.
COVID-19 & Forest School: statement from the Forest School Association
Periodically updated statement from the FSA addressing the affect of lockdown measures on Forest School provision. Comments on & links to government guidance. FSA members can access a tool to support their risk assessments & adherence to guidelines.
“We grew up playing in the woods at the back of our house” - Jane Gillis on why a forest makes the best school
Indepth interview with a Forest School owner - why she loves it, how it works & benefits children, how she got there.
Documentary Channel, 14 July 2020
Forest schools: When every day is a field trip day
'Forest schools and playgroups are putting nature centre stage. Learn all about the benefits of this type of education..' Real examples of Forest Schools in Canada, demonstrating the day to day business of Forest Schools and the benefits to the children who attend.
Today's Parent (CA), 2 January 2020
Forest school in the early years
"The forest school experience offers many benefits to young children and encourages development across all areas of the EYFS". Looks at principles, developing a Forest School, training, benefits and safety.
Croner-I, 30 August 2019
Forest schools: is yours more a marketing gimmick than an outdoors education?
Think-piece: 'Some UK schools have merely jumped on the bandwagon of the popular Scandinavian idea, a new book argues ... some schools and nurseries ... are using the term as a marketing tool ... the term is being widely used to describe general outdoor “getting muddy” activities.' What do you think? The Guardian, 25 June 2019
Forest schools: how climbing trees and making dens can help children develop resilience
'Research suggests that [risky] outdoor play has significant benefits for children and can help to develop their emotional resilience ... children felt more independent, and as a result, had a greater sense of personal, social and environmental responsibility.
The Conversation, 13 June 2019
Challenging Behaviour – A balanced brain means a pro social mind
Jon Cree explores the question "what is a ‘balanced brain’", and how Forest School can help bring the brain into balance and the child regulate their behaviour.
Circle of Life Rediscovery blog, 27 March 2019
Tide’s out, school’s in: the many benefits of beach teaching
‘Following forest school, latest trend in getting children to learn outdoors is beach school’.
The Guardian, 7 January 2019
Using the outdoors as a classroom: Forest School approach being explored in Kenora
‘Being outside ‘makes us happier beings’ and more attentive says principal of Keewatin Public School.’ Nice description of how the curriculum is being taken outdoors at a school in Ontario.
CBC (Canada), 3 April 2018
Return to old habits as babies encouraged to sleep outside in fresh air
Parents & nurseries influenced by the Forest School approach are leaving their children outside to sleep. “The health benefits of children just being outdoors & physically active is enormous & there is no evidence that any harm occurs provided babies are well-wrapped and not cold.”
The Telegraph (paywall), 3 February 2018
Nature Preschools and Kindergartens at Record Numbers in the US
‘A new national survey of nature-based early childhood educators found that the number of nature preschools and forest kindergartens operating in the U.S. is at an all-time high.’ This article examines the findings.
Natural Start Alliance (US), 17 November 2017
Wood Wise – nature inspires education
‘In this issue teachers and practitioners share their approaches to integrating nature with education.’ Articles include: Learning and development through forest school; Educating primary schools through Teaching Trees; and Bringing outdoor learning to life.
Journal of the Woodland Trust, Autumn 2017
See the outdoor nursery rated ‘outstanding’ where children saw wood & cook on open fires
‘The Elves and Fairies Woodland Nursery is seen as bucking Britain’s ‘cotton-wool’ culture with its learning through nature ethos.’
The Mirror, 17 April 2017
Open fires and pointy sticks: the rise of Scandi-style nurseries in the UK
An exploration of Forest School and its benefits, with a focus on Little Forest Folk in Wimbledon, London.
The Telegraph (paywall), 6 April 2016
Meet the hunky headmaster who teaches kids to use a shotgun
Focus on a primary school in East Sussex using Forest School sessions and animal husbandry with its children.
The Telegraph (paywall), 7 February 2016
Preschool Without Walls
Extended article looking at the experience and reasons for the growth of outdoor kindergarten and child-led learning in the United States, including one critical voice.
New York Times, 29 December 2015
Inside the Scandinavian-style forest schools…
How Wildwoods Forest School in Surrey works, and what the parents and children think.
Daily Mail, 10 November 2015
Forest Schools: education in the great outdoors
Inspiring article looking at the history (it started in Wisconsin) and benefits of Forest School, with examples in Vermont and Ontario.
Outdoor Families Magazine (US), 9 September 2015
The Forest School revolution: leaves, logs and life skills
‘Outdoor learning is challenging traditional education root and branch, by teaching children self-esteem, team work and how to value nature.’
The Guardian, 21 April 2015
Forest schools: fires, trees & mud pies
'Outdoor nurseries are sweeping the UK, their focus on fresh air and child-centred learning rather than testing. But can they prepare children for our technology-obsessed world?'
The Guardian, 9 December 2014
Better out than in: Westgarth bush kindergarten plunges kids back into nature
Snapshot of a day at Westgarth – ‘the pioneers when they established the bush kindergarten three years ago, but it’s a concept that has spread like wildfire; there are at least eight now in Melbourne and regional Victoria and that number is growing.’
The Age (Australia), 18 July 2014
How can teachers introduce forest school principles to their curriculum?
'Forest schools help students develop confidence and creativity by teaching practical, outdoor skills – and teachers don't need a woodland on their doorstep to incorporate the ideas.' Includes tips from the FSA’s Jon Cree.
The Guardian, 13 May 2014
Outdoor lessons in winter
Don’t let snowy and wintry conditions put you off outdoor learning. Snow, rain and frost can offer the perfect settings for inspiring and outstanding lessons.
The Guardian, 29 January 2013
Saving childhoods in the forest
"Real learning is often muddy, windswept, chaotic and noisy - when did we become afraid of these things?" Lovely living example of how the learning process at Forest School works.
The Guardian, 28 June 2012
Forest gumption: why children should take lessons outdoors.
Looking at the Forest School movement, with visits to Govan High School‘s autism unit in Glasgow and full-time outside Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery in Fife.
The Independent, 11 February 2010
For Forest Kindergartners, Class Is Back to Nature, Rain or Shine
A nourishing record of a day with young children in their outdoor setting in Saratoga Springs NY, with a look into why the resource exists.
New York Times, 29 November 2009
Waldkindergärten: the forest nurseries where children learn in Nature’s classroom
A look at German forest kindergartens and their benefits.
The Telegraph (paywall), 18 October 2008