What is Forest School?

New to forest school? Welcome

Here are a selections of videos and details on what forest school is explained from a range of people in the forest school community. 

Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.

Introduction to Forest School

Hear from Jemma Robinson, from Robinson`s Discovery Tree (@JRDiscoverytree) about the premise of Forest School – to provide children and young people with the opportunity for experiential learning and play within the natural environment.

A day at forest school

The best way to learn  about forest school is to experience it. Hear from Charlottes wood forest school in “A Day at Forest School.

Forest school a teachers journey

Ever wondered what becoming a Forest School practitioner involves? Watch Rebecca, a teacher from Liverpool, share her experience of Forest School training with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.”.

Forest School Association

On 7th July 2012, the Forest School Association (FSA) was launched as the new professional association for Forest School and the governing body for training.

“Quality forest school for all”

Principles and criteria for good practice

The Forest School ethos has six principles, which were agreed by the UK Forest School community in 2011. For more information please visit the forest school association page What is Forest School?

  • 1. Long Term

    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.

  • 2. Natural wooded environment

    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.

  • 3. Holistic development

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

  • 4. Supported Risk

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

  • 5. Qualified practioners

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

  • 6. Learner-centered processes

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

Raising awareness

Forest School Day is a celebration of everthing that makes up forest school, the community, its students, ethos and and of course the wonderful woodlands.

One of Forest School Days’ objectives is to raise awareness of the forest school ethos, values and best practice. We will do this by showcasing forest school in real-life forest schools stories from across the UK. 

See how the forest school community are celebrating forest school on October 9th 2020