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Forest School

Forest School       

Following the children, following the seasons..



Introduction to Forest School in the UK

Forest School first came to the UK in the 1990’s when a group of nursery nurses from Bridgwater College in Somerset went on a trip to observe the open-air pre-school system in Denmark. They were very much inspired by the outdoor, child-led, play based system that they saw there that when they returned to the UK, they introduced their own Forest School for children at the college crèche. By 1995 Bridgwater College was offering a course in Forest School for early years’ practitioners. The course and the positive benefits of Forest School quickly spread throughout the UK.



Forest School at Hobbayne


At Hobbayne regular Forest School sessions provide our children with the opportunity to explore, experience and connect with the natural world through practical outdoor activities which have been shown to help promote confidence, independence, self-esteem and resilience. With its focus being on the process of learning rather than the outcomes of learning, the structure of the sessions allows for a child led approach to be facilitated by our very own qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader.



Forest School sessions are held all year round in all weathers (except in extreme circumstances such as thunderstorms and very strong winds) giving the children an opportunity to see the seasons change and experience the natural world in all its beauty. This is especially important for our children growing up in the busy, urban environment of West London.


At present the aim is for all children in Reception to have at least six consecutive Forest School sessions on our very own Forest School site. They spend a whole afternoon on the site, from the end of lunch break to the end of the school day. The sessions are facilitated by Mr Wright, a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader. Other year groups are increasingly getting involved in the Forest School programme as the site is being further developed.



The Forest School Ethos



The Forest School ethos has six principles, which were agreed by the UK Forest School community in 2011.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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


Just some of our Forest School activities!!



Shelter Building

A great problem-solving activity supporting collaborative and independent development.

Tree Planting

A very special activity that helps children and adults feel a real connection with nature as well as learning all about the benefits that trees bring to the environment.



Mini Beast Hunt

An opportunity to marvel at the uniqueness and strangeness of animal life and the important part they play in the eco-system.




Mud Art

A creative activity that develops imagination and understanding of myths and legends.

Making a Woodland Charm

A good introduction to tool use, great for developing fine and gross motor skills.


Making Bird Feeders

An opportunity to help support the wildlife we share the world with.


Forest Theatre

A chance for the children to develop their confidence in a friendly collaborative atmosphere.



Dragon Sneezes

Using a fire steel to create sparks (dragon sneezes). A good introduction to tool use and fire lighting and great for building perseverance.



Building Animal Homes

A fun activity that helps develop creativity and empathy.


Blindfold Trail

This activity is great for developing communication skills, gross motor skills, resilience and building trusting relationships with peers.





Unstructured Free Play

An opportunity to use creativity whilst developing the imagination during freely chosen play.