Forest schools are a type of early childhood education that takes place in forests or natural environments. The curriculum is fluid, learner-led, and play-based, focusing on curiosity, exploration, discovery and wellbeing. Forest schools originated in Denmark and have spread across the western world as a model for progressive education. Forest schools are delivered through regular sessions over a term. Forest schools can benefit children of different ages, from pre-schools to teenagers, by nurturing their relationship with nature and developing their skills and confidence.
At Rusper Primary School we have a fully-qualified Forest School leader who joins us once a week to teach the children new skills including being taught to take risks with the instructors support. For example, pupils may explore climbing trees, using metal tools, and lighting a fire. Leaders help pupils assess risks and benefits so their decisions are always informed. Risk-taking builds resilience and self-esteem in young people that will improve their judgment as they grow.