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Forest School


Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process that focuses on reconnecting (or in some cases ‘connecting’) children with their local outdoor environment, giving them the space and freedom to discover, play, explore and learn within a natural, outdoor setting. It is a long-term programme that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences outside of the classroom which can be achieved in our very own well equipped Forest School setting. 

Forest School can now be delivered alongside conventional education methods to provide children with the ability to transfer their skills they learn into everyday life.

Forest School is popular with children of all ages as well as helping to support those children with specific emotional and behavioural needs. Improved social skills, greater peer interaction, stronger relationships and better problem-solving abilities are just some of the many benefits that can be gained through Forest School. 

Forest School sessions at St. Andrew’s provide our pupils with increasingly diverse opportunities to benefit from a supportive curriculum that can help them build positive values and attitudes about themselves, about learning and the environment in which they live.

Our pupils are invited to participate in challenging and achievable tasks that build their confidence, skills and independence. This time and reflective practice develops inter- and intra-personal skills, which are well-documented as being directly linked to learning skills.


Every year group at St. Andrew’s will take part in Forest School at some point during the academic year. Each half term KS1 classes rotate, meaning that classes will be given an opportunity to take part in Forest School. Forest School will take place for one morning during the week. Opportunities are incorporated into the KS2 curriculum throughout the year.

At Forest School, our pupils get to tackle a range of fun challenges and activities. Below are just some examples of what our children get up to in Forest School;

  1. Children are taught basic whittling skills by using potato peelers to whittle sticks to make into tent pegs.  With more experience over time, children will be taught to use different tools such as bow saws and sheath knifes.
  2. Children are taught to follow instructions carefully to keep themselves and their peers safe while doing higher risk activities. This is an important part of forest school learning.
  3. Children learn about the natural environment of the forest school area, providing plenty of opportunity to explore mini-beasts and their habitats.  All types of living things are encouraged in this area through compost making, mini-beast hotels, planting seeds, bulbs, berries and fruit trees.
  4. Children learn how to take care of the environment in a safe and sustainable way. 
  5. Children learn to use the Forest school as an interesting place to practice reading skills and to read for pleasure with friends!
  6. Children learn to use the outdoor area creatively by being free to choose and explore different natural resources e.g. making hanging mobiles from interesting leaves and flowers.  
  7. Children engage in outdoor cooking opportunities and learn the knowledge and skills of fire lighting and fire safety. Preparing food and eating together is a great way to introduce cooking skills and fosters a sense of camaraderie.  This helps to promote a healthy relationship with food and nature.


Successful outdoor education allows children to:

  • Character build as a result of the freedom, time and space they are given in their learning. This allows them to demonstrate independence at each individual child’s rate.
  • Develop a sense of teamwork, resilience and a stronger bond with their teachers and peers - activities such as sharing tools and participating in play help teach the children to work together as a group, which strengthens their bonds and social skills.
  • Communicate – outdoor learning promotes language development through increased sensory experiences which in turn improves communication skills and has a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem and is a crucial part of their development.
  • Increase concentration and attention - high levels of interest lead to high levels of attention. Spending time in the woodland is exciting for a child. It tends to fascinate them which develops a strong will to participate and concentrate over long periods of time.
  • Develop physical skills - the increase in outdoor activity has a positive physical impact. Not only does the development of physical stamina improve but also gross and fine motor skills.
  • Engage with the environment and wider world- children develop an interest in the great outdoors and respect for the environment. Encouraging children to develop a relationship with the natural world will help in protecting the environment for generations to come.
  • Show teachers a new side of their personality and ability - Forest School isn’t just beneficial to children it is also beneficial to teachers. Observing their class in a different setting allows them to gain a new perspective and understanding of their class.

When children really engage with Forest School they will take their experiences home to share with friends and family. This will often encourage families to visit their local woodlands more frequently. Taking children outside of the classroom removes the pressures of academia and allows them to play to their strengths. This is beneficial to children who struggle in the classroom because there is more of an opportunity for them to learn at their own pace. Learning outside the classroom also allows for a more  meaningful context to learning that has begun or is continued in a traditional classroom setting: for example, if children have had the opportunity to light and cook by a fire, their writing from the perspective of a Stone Age person will have more depth of knowledge and understanding.

297 Chase Road, Southgate, London, N14 6JA

020 8886 3379,