Forest School is a unique outdoor education programme. It gives pupils the chance to explore, learn and discover at their own pace, developing their confidence and self esteem in a safe and supportive space.

What happens at Forest School

Typically, small groups of pupils (usually a maximum of 8) take part in a programme of four or more weekly sessions lasting 1 hour.

All sessions are designed and led by Catmose Primary staff who have been advised by independent Forest School Leaders. However, Forest School strongly encourages child–led learning, so as the weeks progress, pupils are given more freedom and responsibility to explore their interests and initiate and direct their own learning.

Forest School uses natural resources to stimulate imagination, creativity and investigation.

Activities can include:

  • Making musical instruments, jewellery, decorative items
  • Shelter building
  • Natural art
  • Using knots and lashings
  • Team building exercises
  • Climbing and balancing

Sessions happen entirely outdoors, whatever the weather, providing it is safe. This enables participants to connect with nature, experience the seasons and see how the Forest School site changes over time.

The benefits of Forest School

Forest School is suited to all ages and abilities. The aim of Forest School is to develop the person as a whole.

Forest School can:

  • Heighten self-awareness and self image within a wider community
  • Promote co-operative and group working
  • Enable participants to evaluate risk learn how to stay safe
  • Develop physical abilities
  • Encourage participants to take care of themselves and others
  • Foster care, appreciation and respect for wildlife and wild places
  • Broaden knowledge and understanding of the natural world
  • Improve social and emotional skills