Home Page

Forest School

Curriculum Leader: Kath Baker

Mrs Baker is our Forest School leader and is responsible for this curriculum area. This means ensuring we teach an ambitious curriculum, supporting our teachers to implement our curriculum through high-quality lessons and checking that lessons are helping our children to know more, remember more and do more.

Purpose of Study


The purpose of a quality Forest School curriculum is to provide children with a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate learning experience that fosters their curiosity, creativity, and love for the natural world. Children will progressively develop skills in shelter building, tool use, knot tying, fire management, nature identification, seasonal changes, and health and wellbeing. 


The purpose of this study is to provide children with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge in a safe and supportive environment, enabling them to become confident, independent, and responsible learners. 


Through this process, children will develop a deeper connection with nature and gain a greater appreciation for the importance of environmental stewardship.



Although Forest School is not part of the National Curriculum, it is an essential part of our school curriculum. The aims are:

  1. To develop children's practical skills: The curriculum aims to enable children to develop practical skills in shelter building, tool use, knot tying, and fire management. Through hands-on learning experiences, children will learn how to work independently and collaboratively to solve problems and create structures using natural materials.

  2. To foster children's appreciation of nature: The curriculum aims to foster children's appreciation of nature by teaching them how to identify and name a variety of trees, birds, flowers, insects, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Through observation and exploration, children will gain a greater understanding of the natural world and the interdependence of living things.

  3. To promote children's health and wellbeing: The curriculum aims to promote children's health and wellbeing by encouraging them to spend time outdoors, connect with nature, and engage in mindful practices. Through activities such as foraging, nature walks, and mindfulness exercises, children will learn how to manage stress and anxiety, improve their mental health, and develop a sense of resilience and self-awareness.

  4. To develop children's teamwork and communication skills: The curriculum aims to develop children's teamwork and communication skills by encouraging them to work collaboratively to solve problems, create structures, and cook meals over an open fire. Through these activities, children will learn how to communicate effectively, respect each other's opinions, and work towards a common goal.

  5. To promote environmental stewardship: The curriculum aims to promote environmental stewardship by teaching children about the impact of human activities on the natural world and how to take responsible action to protect and preserve the environment. Through activities such as woodland management, foraging, and leave no trace camping, children will learn how to be responsible citizens and stewards of the environment.


  • To grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self-motivated
  • To foster a sense of wonder about the world around them
  • To be able to problem solve and work cooperatively with others
  • To learn to manage risks in a safe way
  • To foster a deep connection with the natural world, through activities such as planting, litter picking, wildlife observation, and habitat building.
  • To be able to talk about the weather, changes in the environment, and the seasons.
  • To develop social play behaviours, including imaginative play and storytelling.
  • To develop fine and gross motor skills, using peelers, hammers, screwdrivers, and saws



We will do this by ensuring

  • A carefully planned program designed to ensure our children have regular and meaningful experiences in a natural outdoor setting.
  • The children have dedicated Forest School time, where children participate in activities that align with their age and abilities.
  • That sessions are led by a qualified Forest School practitioner who is skilled in facilitating child-led learning experiences.
  • Strategies are used to ensure that the Forest School program is accessible to all children.
  • Forest School is supported by a high ratio of adults to children (at least 5:30)
  • A safe and stimulating outdoor learning environment within our school grounds. The area is carefully risk-assessed, ensuring the provision of appropriate play spaces, natural resources, and materials that encourage imaginative play, problem-solving, and physical activity.




We will have made a difference when…

  • We see increased confidence, self-esteem, and resilience.
  • They become more curious, motivated, and empowered learners, taking ownership of their learning journey.
  • We see an increase in their vocabulary vocabulary.
  • Improved communication skills are being used, not just in Forest School but throughout the school day.
  • Children demonstrate high levels of interest, which leads to high levels of attention.
  • Physical stamina and improved gross and fine motor skills are refined
  • The nature of the child-led learning leads to children taking ownership of their own learning
  • Children are enthusiastic about the environment and develop an environmental awareness.
  • By using the outdoor environment as a backdrop for storytelling, problem-solving, and imaginative play, their vocabulary, oral skills, and listening abilities are extended.
  • Children are willing to take risks in a safe environment.

Setting up the Compost bin

Class 4 helped to set up the compost bin today.  We talked about what a compost bin is and why it is important then we set to work.  First we had to dig a big hole to put the bin in,  we found several worms while digging.  We did our best to save the worms because they will be very helpful in the composting process.  We were then able to put in our first compostable items - tea bags and cardboard.


Setting and lighting the fire

Making bird food and building the 'Bug Hotel'


Class 7 helped to set the fire using the upside down method, this is where we have big pieces of wood at the bottom and small pieces on top.  Then Anya and Ilakiya used the fire strikes to create a spark and were able to light the fire after lots of persistence.  We melted lard on the fire, mixed in some bird seed and when it was cool rolled it into balls and filled up the bird feeders.

Class 7 also helped to create our new 'Bug Hotel', they used the hand drills to make holes in logs for solitary bees to nest in.