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Why 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.

Forest School has a developmental ethos shared by thousands of trained practitioners around the world, who are constantly developing their learning styles and skills to support new and imaginative learners. Its roots reach back to the open-air culture, friluftsliv, or free air life, seen as a way of life in Scandinavia where Forest School began. It arrived in the UK in 1993 and has grown from strength to strength since then.

What is quality forest school?

There are many forms of outdoor education and all have enormous value, however, Forest School is unique in its reach, delivery and effect. These six principles as described by the forest school association are:

  1. Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.

  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.

  3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.

  4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

  5. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

  6. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Why Forest Schools Work, Hideaway Forest School Bristol

The Hideaway Forest School encourages children to:

  • develop personal and social skills

  • develop language and communication skills

  • improve physical motor skills

  • build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk

  • develop practical skills

  • use tools to create, build or manage

  • understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle

  • become more motivated by regularly experiencing achievement and success

  • pursue knowledge that interests them, improve their concentration skills

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