Forest School

What is Forest School?

Forest School is not a‘one-off’ session but should be built up long-term over regular opportunities for children to be in an outdoors woodland environment. It allows all learners to achieve and develop their self-esteem and confidence. Within this, all children explore and discover for themselves, take appropriate risks (e.g. through fire lighting, tree climbing and tool use), seek challenge, solve problems, co-operate with others and experience regular success. Through this, they develop positive relationships both with others and the natural world, and develop their personal potential.

Forest School is focussed more on learning processes rather than on the content; it is not what children achieve but how they have achieved it. It is based very much on a child-centred approach where children are given encouragement to direct their own learning using their senses to explore the outdoor woodland environment whilst linked to concepts being taught in the classroom.

Most importantly, Forest School develops the whole child which enhances each child’s personal, social, emotional, intellectual, linguistic, spiritual and physical development to increase their ability to become independent, inquisitive, resilient and confident learners who can manage risk safely.

Aims of Forest School

We aim for our children to be:

Team players 

Resilient learners

Creative thinkers

Skill developers

Decision makers

Risk Takers

Nature explorers

Den designers



At Fleetville Junior School, we believe that Forest School enhances the curriculum to provide one that is broad, balanced and develops the whole child.

We recognise the uniqueness of every child and help them to respect each other and the natural world whilst developing their social, physical, intellectual, communication, spiritual and emotional skills and allowing them to take measured risks within a safe environment. In turn, this will help the children to further their confidence, creativity, decision-making skills and independence. We nurture children to become motivated and resilient so that they can attain their potential, and discover a curiosity and love of learning in the outdoors.

We aim to do this by:

  • Providing a safe and secure woodland environment where the children can explore, challenge themselves and practise their skills on a regular basis.
  • Giving children time, space and support to develop their skills, interests and understanding through a hands-on practical approach.
  • Training children to use tools appropriately and build dens as well as create and make fires safely within a controlled environment.
  • Planning flexible learning opportunities, including play, and observing children in their learning.
  • Enabling the children to achieve success through challenges which focus on process rather than outcome.
  • Encouraging the children to make sensible and informed decisions in unfamiliar situations based on their previous learning experiences.



We recently received our Gold award from the Woodland Trust.

Year 5 Forest School - Den Building

In Science, Year 5 were planning an investigation exploring the best material to use to build a shelter. To deepen their knowledge on shelters, they were taught how to tie different knots and use materials around them to create a waterproof shelter.