What is Forest School?


Forest School is an inspirational approach to learning in the natural environment. The Forest School ethos respects the child's decisions and abilities, supporting their pursuit of internally motivated learning.

Amongst other things the Forest School way of learning encourages social development, language development, problem solving as well as managing and assessing risks - all at the child's own pace. Forest schools or nature nurseries have been a part of the early year’s education culture in Scandinavian countries since the 1950’s.

In these countries it is part of the culture to engage in outdoor life and most activities are done outside, whatever the weather.

In the mid 1990’s a team from Bridgewater College in Somerset visited Denmark on an exchange trip. They were so impressed with the concept that in 1995 they set up the first forest school in the UK.


Forest School Training

Badger Wood Adventures is proud to be working with Inspired Forest School Training based in Churchdown. They train future Forest School Practitioners, in the practice, theories and ethos behind the Forest School approach to learning, with amazing energy and enthusiasm. It's wonderful that they have chosen Badger Wood as the perfect setting to practice and develop their Forest School skills. The trainer, Shane, is extremely inspirational, he is passionate about Forest School and ensuring that more children not only have access to it but also have a practitioner who will inspire them too!

Take a look at their website for more details: www.inspiredforestschooltraining.co.uk

In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness. We require these patches of nature for our mental health and our spiritual resilience. Future generations...will need nature all the more. Richard Louv author of 'Last Child in the Woods'

Government research confirms Forest School:

  • Supports and enhances all areas of the curriculum
  • Helps build on skills such as communication, co-operation and emotional intelligence
  • As a regular learning experience builds security, a sense of ownership and confidence
  • Uses small achievable tasks to build confidence and self esteem
  • Encourages appreciation and awareness of environmental issues
  • Is great for kinaesthetic learners and non-academics

Some useful documents:

Forest School Evaluation Project (PDF)

Forest School: a marvellous opportunity to learn (PDF)

The benefits of a forest school experience for children in their early years (PDF)