Forest School in the UK came in to being in the early 1990’s when a group of educators from Bridgwater College went to Scandinavia to observe their Early Years programmes. What they discovered was so inspiring that they came back to England and opened the first Forest School.
Since then Forest School has grown in stature and you can now find a Forest School, or something similar, in most schools, towns and cities.
Forest School has the aim to connect children to their local environment, to provide a natural space for them to play, discover, explore and learn. Setting children up to succeed is core.
It also gives children the space and time to just be, a frequently rare opportunity in our modern age. The focus is on soft skills, learning to be happy in themselves and within a group. The woodland environment is a great place to learn life’s lessons as the group develops throughout the seasons.
Forest school is beneficial to all children, including those who find it hard to flourish in the classroom. Those that find academia difficult tend to do well in the Forest school environment. It has also been a wonderful outlet for children with different additional needs, as they find a nurturing, relaxed and sense-inspiring outdoor setting a positive place to be. A classroom without walls!
Each Forest school is unique depending on the setting, the staff and the children. But these core values are the glue that has made Forest school an essential educational tool around the world