What are Forest Schools?
Forest School originated in the Scandinavian countries in the 1950s. The key features include the use of a woodland setting over a sustained period of time, a low child/adult ratio and freedom to explore the multiple senses. Research indicates that children who spend time in natural environments undertake more diverse, creative and imaginative play, activities which form an important part of a child’s development. The fascination the woodland environment holds for young children means that this is a learning environment that capitalises on their innate curiosity. Physical skills are improved by the challenge of dealing with rough terrain, and by learning to handle tools and equipment. Furthermore, the outdoor setting is an innovative assessment tool for teachers and leaders to support their understanding of a child’s skills and abilities, especially for those children for whom the classroom setting does not provide an optimal learning environment.