Cambridgeshire County Council has a qualified Forest School Adviser who can support schools and settings in the county to introduce and develop Forest School practice.
You can contact the Forest School Adviser by emailing [email protected] or by telephoning 01223 706 133.
Forest School practice
Forest School is an innovative approach to outdoor education and learning. During regular Forest School sessions, children and young people progress their learning and development through leading their own explorations in woodlands or wild spaces. They engage with the natural world using all of their senses, exploring the environment and developing a deep respect for nature.
If you’re not already familiar with the Forest School approach, this video clip from Teachers’ TV makes a helpful introduction.
The impact on children’s learning and development
Evidence from research suggests that Forest School sessions impact positively on children’s learning and development, increasing self-confidence, emotional resilience, independence, motivation to learn, teamwork and social and communication skills. These effects are usually seen back in the school classroom or early years provision, building a positive attitude to learning and increasing personal development potential. Progression has also been observed in children’s language, literacy, physical stamina, problem solving skills and knowledge of the natural world.
The origins of Forest School practice
Forest School originates from a Scandinavian approach to learning that highlights the importance and value of children having contact with nature from an early age. Supported by staff trained in the approach, regular Forest School experiences give children the opportunity to learn to assess risk and take part in age-appropriate experiences such as climbing, investigating and exploring the natural environment. Forest School can also contribute to children’s health, helping to support physical exercise and mental well-being and establish healthy behaviours for the future.