Forest school, also known as Nature or Outdoor school, is an educational approach and program of delivery that has existed since the 1950’s worldwide. Forest school is play based, child-led, emergent, and inquiry-based where the learning takes place outdoors in a natural setting. Participants visit the same woodland on a regular, repeated basis over an extended period of time, through all kinds of weather and in all seasons.
Through play in the forest, children develop problem-solving skills, co-operation, self-esteem, and knowledge across many diverse subjects. Forest School allows children the time and space to develop their own interests, skills and explore through hands-on experiences. Children are given the freedom to use all of their senses to explore and experience nature. Being outdoors not only provides children with fresh air, but also encourages imaginative play, creativity, hand-eye coordination, balance, physical strength, mental clarity and a relationship to the land.
Forest School educators are specially trained and certified to lead the children. A Forest School educator steps back and observes the children in order to best understand their needs and interests, then they are able to carefully plan learning experiences that encourage children and help them to reach their own achievements.
Forest School participants develop and nurture respect and responsibility for themselves, other people and the environment in a truly empowering experience, all the while having fun, is exciting and great for their health.