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Forest schools

At Leasowes we are continually looking for ways to inspire and engage children in their learning particularly using the outdoor environment. Making the most of our enviable grounds, our Forest School leaders regularly take groups into our woodland environment and all year groups will get the opportunity to participate for a block of learning throughout the year. We currently have two Level 3 accredited Forest School leaders: Mrs Keen and Mr Williams, along with Mrs Bennett who is completing her training this year. We also welcome Mrs Turnock to the team this year.

Attached is a brief overview of the Forest School ethos which details the origins and how children may benefit from experiencing this unique approach to learning.

Forest School Information for Parents

Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment. By introducing Forest School sessions at Leasowes, we aim to nurture an understanding and respect for natural places where children experience nature at first hand through a series of engaging and achievable tasks.

The Forest School experience brings learning to life and improves a child’s ability to work co-operatively whilst also offering them opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning.

Where does the idea come from?

Forest schools originated in Sweden during the 1950s and was a way of teaching children about the natural world. The idea was adopted by Denmark as an important part of Early Years provision. The concept was introduced to Britain in 1995 by Bridgewater College and is being developed all over the country.

Who is Forest School for?

Everyone can benefit from Forest School. Forest School provides a valuable teaching tool for a wide range of curriculum subjects. It is an excellent way to support and enrich the National Curriculum and engages children with a variety of needs and learning styles.

What will happen during a Forest School session at Leasowes?

At Leasowes, children attend Forest School sessions every Friday afternoon for a minimum of 5 weeks. The sessions are led by Mrs Keen,  Mr Williams, Mrs Bennett and Mrs Turnock.   

During these sessions, children experience all sorts of woodland activities that help them to build an understanding and appreciation of the woodland as well as learn together in a totally unique way. The activities are always hands-on and may require the use of a range of tools. The sessions will also allow time for peer mentoring and for the children to reflect on their experiences at Forest School.

Forest School Kit List

Please ensure that all kit is in school for your child’s Forest School sessions; even when sunny and warm at the start of a session the temperature within the woodland can be many degrees lower. The whole session will be spent outdoors whatever the weather, therefore appropriate clothing is essential. The only time that we will not be working outdoors is in excessive high winds or lightning. Please be aware that children may get muddy during these sessions so for their own comfort it is important that they are wearing old and appropriate clothing. As for PE sessions, earrings must be removed and long hair tied back for safety. 

Clothing needed for Forest School sessions

  • Sturdy trainers, boots or wellies
  • Socks
  • Long trousers
  • Long sleeved top
  • Warm jumper/zip up hoodie
  • Waterproof jacket & trousers (we do have a bank of waterproof trousers and jackets that child can use during our Forest School sessions)
  • Hat/gloves (in winter Forest School sessions)
  • Sun hat (in summer Forest School sessions