Forest School and Outdoor Learning at Woodfield Primary School

At Woodfield, we place great importance on the education of the whole child.

Our bespoke programme of Outdoor Learning at Woodfield is adult-led with a structured approach, to ensure that learning in the classroom is enhanced and reinforced. This helps to support the notion that key concepts are embedded into children’s long-term memory, providing platforms for future learning and concept development. Learning outdoors is intrinsically motivating for children, helping to support their spiritual development and awareness of the wonder of the world around us. Spending more time outdoors in nature also helps to decrease stress and anxiety, supporting both physical and mental health. All children from Years 1 – 6 in Woodfield attend a minimum of 6 half-day sessions, every year, directly linked to their curriculum learning in class.

Sessions at Woodfield School are delivered by qualified Practitioners from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and take place in our own on-site woodland setting. The programme of outdoor provision takes learning outside the classroom, providing children with opportunities for experiential learning, which is designed to make learning more memorable and improve engagement.

Forest School

Forest School is an inspirational process which offers children opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. Activities are designed to build independence, stimulate awe and wonder, encourage perseverance and determination, improve mental health, build positive relationships and promote problem-solving, all of which equip children with the skills they need to face challenges and changes in the future. Sessions are fluid and bespoke, to meet the needs of the children.

At Forest School all participants are viewed as:

  • equal, unique and valuable
  • competent to explore & discover
  • entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
  • entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
  • entitled to experience regular success
  • entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
  • entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world

Principles and criteria for good practice 

Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.

Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners

Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Principle 5: Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Principle 6: Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.

Further information regarding Forest Schools can be found on the link below.

www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school