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Forest Schools


Believe that every pupil will gain an appreciation of the outdoors and form a life-long relationship with nature.



FOLLOW: the values of Forest School which originate from Scandinavia and lead by children's interests.

EXPLORE: the natural world. We operate on the principle that children of all ages benefit from the learning opportunities present in a woodland environment, whatever the weather.

PLAY: learn through play. We model, support and extend the children’s next steps in play.

DEVELOP: learning in a different context and environment.

LINK: learning to skiils and knowledge aquired in the classroom and create cultural capital. 

The sessions are not activity based but instead are led by the interests of the children. We provide hooks to inspire the children to enjoy a range of experiences such as:
• building shelters,
• woodland craftwork,
• telling stories,
• cooking over fires,
• hunting for minibeasts
• investigating nature,
• making mud pies.

As the programme develops woodland tools are introduced to extend learning and provide new opportunities for risk management.

So that all children are:
• Independent and active learners.
• Further developing communication and language skills.
• Growing in confidence and self-esteem as a result of the freedom, time and space they are given to experiment
• Gaining problem-solving skills


Children grow up with a new perspective on how to respect the environment. Ask big questions, link their learning and develop cultural capital.
Forest School' principles will be permenatly adopted by the children and used at home, in playgrounds, parks and other environments.

Forest School begins in Early Years

At Ryders Hayes we love accessing the outdoors!

We give the children the opportunity to independently access the outdoor environment on a daily basis. In addition to this, the children have the opportunity to access our own Forest School area in groups on the school grounds, supported by Forest School trained staff.

The concept of Forest School, developed in Scandinavia takes learning outdoors, whatever the weather, helping children became resilient, confident and independent learners

Forest School in Early Years led by the interests of the learners helps to develop their cultural capital through first-hand experience and the knowledge gained from learning outdoors.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing".

“The best classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky”.
Margaret McMillian

Each session will incorporate most, if not all, seven areas of the EYFS framework. As well as the obvious health benefits, both mental and physical, knowledge is gained about nature, animals, insects and the seasons. The other benefits of Forest School are endless because nature offers a rich variety of freedom, risk and play opportunities. 'Risky play' builds confidence, independence, enhances decision making skills and provides real-world experience, in turn providing opportunities for self-discovery; imagination, creativity, mastery, co-ordination and fine/ gross motor skills.

Language and Communication is developed through teamwork in Forest School.

At the end of each session the children have reflection time over a well-deserved cup of hot chocolate to talk about what they have enjoyed doing and key learning points.

When your child takes part in Forest School we provide them with all-weather coats and trousers. We ask that parents provide clearly labelled:

• sturdy boots or wellies
• gloves
• scarf
• hat
• spare socks

Website Links

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'Do the right thing to be the best you can be'...

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