Originating in Scandinavia, Forest schools have become increasingly popular in the UK over the last few years, backed by research which indicates that they can positively contribute to a young child’s learning & development.
What is a forest school?
A Forest school is one that devises a program of outdoor learning based on the children’s interests and allows the children to build on skills from week to week, at their own pace. Their emphasis is on learning outside of the traditional classroom and having the freedom to explore the ever changing natural environment, to take risks and “assess risk for themselves”. The children learn informally through being outside in woods and other natural spaces, stimulating their imagination, bringing subjects to life in a real context and building firm foundations for further learning.
How do they benefit young children?
In particular, Forest schools can help in the areas of personal, social and emotional development , self esteem, language and communication.
And, they are FUN!!
Many nurseries and primary schools now incorporate an element of forest schooling in their daily routines and curriculum.