We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm


We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm

What is Forest School?

Forest School is based on a Scandinavian model, its philosophy encourages and inspires positive outdoor experiences. At Cholsey Primary, this is provided by regular opportunities to spend quality time in our beautiful nature area on our school site.

The Forest school programme at Cholsey sits central to our school’s many environmentally based initiatives including our widely used school garden and the outdoor learning ethos. Our aim is to encourage a lifelong love and understanding of the natural environment, with all the wide-ranging benefits this provides our learners with. Children learn about themselves, others and the world around them through hands on experience, where opportunities to encounter risk in a safe and supportive environment lead to our learner’s assessment and management of risk.

The Forest School Process

Forest School is run by qualified Forest School Leaders and practitioners

  • Sessions are run regularly for either the whole morning or afternoon.
  • Uniform is not worn on Forest School days. Nordic weatherproof outfits are provided, children need 2 sets of play clothes, they often need to change into spares- especially socks, with long sleeved tops and lots of layers a necessity. Jogging bottoms, cotton tops and fleeces are ideal. Winter; hats, scarves and gloves, Summer; sun cream, long sleeved tops and sun hats. NO JEANS please.
  • Each week, the learners consider rules about how we can look after each other, our environment and stay safe at Forest School.
  • Forest School is a learner-centred processes.
  • High adult ratio; including a parent or carer at each session to support the learners while investigating and testing new skills and experiences.
  • Forest School is run whatever the weather, rain, hail, snow or sun (unless the FS leader assesses the weather as unsafe, e.g. High winds).
  • We all share a snack and enjoy time in our seating area before we return to school.

Some of the Benefits of Forest School

Physical and Mental Wellbeing
A wide range of research promotes the value of Forest School’s health benefits, both physically and emotionally and it encourages a lifelong love of the outdoors.

Gross and fine motor skills essential for physical development of children, in terms of their core strength and the benefits to movement handling and manipulation of tools important for writing and highlighted by Alistair Bryce Clegg (2015).

Resilience & Creativity
This is connected to motivation and the self-directed nature of Forest school which fosters resilience and independence.
This is encouraged by the learners playled problem solving, building bridges, dens, seesaw, imaginary worlds.

Collaboration, Communication & Social Skills

Social Context;
the holistic nature of Forest School benefits children in terms of their sense of self, of empathy for others and socially.

There are many opportunities for community and social interactions where food is shared around the fire, where children support each other and where communication and collaboration are enhanced.