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Forest School     

           ... 'an inspirational process in which children learn through hands on activities in a natural environment.'


We are lucky enough, at St Martin of Porres, to be situated in grounds that have some ideal green and woodland space to develop a Forest School for our pupils.

Forest School is based upon early childhood principles of freedom in play, creativity, socialisation skills and emotional stability.  Children achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning as teachers facilitate 'safe' risk-taking.  This extension to the curriculum benefits all children including the more able and talented and children with special educational needs.



The benefits of Forest School include -

  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence

  • Improved social skills

  • Development of language and communication skills

  • Improved physical motor skills

  • Improved motivation and concentration

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of the environment


Examples of Forest School Skills that pupils acquire through activities include -

  • Den Building

  • Tree Climbing

  • Fire Skills & Cooking

  • Tool work - learning to use tools safely

  • Rope work - knots and lashings


Forest School is a cross-curricular teaching tool that can be accessed from Early Years through to Key Stage 3 and beyond.


  • To encourage more effective communication where children share ideas and experiences.

  • To expand the imagination and stimulate ideas that can be taken back to class as writing activities

  • Poetry and story telling can be a unique experience in the outdoor environment.


  • Problem solving strategies

  • Counting

  • Sorting and creating patterns

  • Building 3D structures


Science, Geography

  • Children are given the freedom to explore the world around them

  • Gain an understanding of materials & their properties exploring their suitability for purpose and constructing based on those findings - i.e. den building

  • Children develop a sense of identity in the community developed through Forest School breaking down boundaries of diversity

  • Forest School supports and enhances many Science topics such has habitats, life-cycles and food chains.


  • Encourages creative development by studying colour, shape, size and distance

  • Develops team-working skills through collaborative art activities


 P.E. & Design & Technology

  • Children working in an outdoor environment

  • Children have the opportunity to use a range of materials and tools to which they would not normally have access

  • Fine motor skills are developed through 'knot-work'

  • Understanding space and safety is critical when tools and fire work is being undertaken

  • Research carried out by the University of Edinburgh found that children's level of activity on a Forest School day was 2.2 times greater than on active school days and 2.7 times greater than inactive school days.