Social Media

You can find me on the following social media platforms...

Muddy Faces

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an innovative approach to outdoor play & learning for Early Years, Primary & Secondary school pupils and more. It is child-led regular time outdoors.

The Forest School movement is growing in the UK and internationally, and the evidence for its' benefits to children and adults is well documented.

Outdoor Hub

Forest School embraces the outdoors as an inspirational learning environment.

It is focused on the child’s learning needs rather than specific outcomes.

Children are able to explore & experience the natural world on a regular & sustained basis.

  • Forest School provides a unique way of building confidence and self-esteem, learning new life skills and promoting independence through hands-on learning experiences
  • Forest School programmes are child-led – areas of interest are generated by the children or young people participating. This is achieved through observation and reviewing, which helps practitioners prepare for their following sessions
  • Forest School sessions take place regularly, ideally once a week, throughout the year, in all seasons and all weathers – unless it is dangerous for the session to take place, such as in extreme weather (high winds or lightning)
  • Many Forest School projects successfully integrate the school curriculum whilst following the interests of the group or individuals. This is achieved by considering the curriculum in an enabling outdoor context, using learning and teaching strategies which raise confidence and develop communication skills
  • Where Forest Schools excel is in supporting the individual. The Forest School ethos acknowledges individual learning processes and supports participants at their own pace, and responds to their requirements and areas of interest. It encourages individuals to build up to a point where they feel they can push their own limits both physically and emotionally. Forest Schools provide a safe yet challenging and stimulating environment full of sensory diversity
  • At Forest School the participants are actively involved with how the programmes develop. This makes experiences relevant to them and has a direct effect on motivation, causing the learning experience to be more emotionally-involved and the learning then rooted more deeply .

Watch: What is Forest School?

A video from The Forest School Association, June 2020 (5 mins 43).

See also

Forest School principles

Six key principles to ensure quality Forest School for children from Early Years to Primary & Secondary schools and more.

The principles lay out the ethos and working practices of Forest School practitioners. They were agreed by the UK Forest School community in 2011.

Read More about Forest School principles

Benefits of Forest School

Forest School benefits children from Early Years & Primary right up to adulthood. But what actually is the impact of regular child-led outdoor play and learning & spending time in nature?

The benefits are many and far-reaching, but also difficult to measure. Below we list some, but by no means all, of the benefits of Forest School on various aspects of a person’s life or development.

Scroll down to find out more about evaluating work outdoors.

Read More about Benefits of Forest School

FS research & reports

Forest School is brilliant outdoor play & learning for Early Years & Primary age children - it develops skills, confidence, well being & nature connection. And here's (some of) the proof!

We've gathered together work by academics & professionals looking into the quantitative and qualitative benefits of Forest School.

The evidence continues to grow & new research continues to be undertaken. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Do contact us if you know of more to add:

These reports & research are, as much as possible, arranged in chronological order, most recent at the top.

Read More about FS research & reports
Return to top


Keep in touch

Register to receive our free email newsletter, full of outdoor inspiration, dates, deals and competitions.