forest schoolbegan in 2014

crochetted wool in tree
a temporary shelter in a woodland with low sun
a shelter made from 2 6 metre tarps
a woodland seat made from three logs leant against a tree
rice pudding in dutch oven over open fire

in mid 2014 christine began he forest school leader training made possible by the financial support of the derbyshire community foundation and we thank them for their support very much 🙂 thank you. xx  we heard in november 2015 that she had qualified as a  level 3 forest school leader.

andrew’s level 3 training journey began in june 2015.  his training has been funded by the public health resource sourced by the derbyshire county council environmental studies service.

what is forest school ?

Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.

Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.

‘Forest School is a feeling you can’t put into words.’ Tonicha, aged 9

The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.

‘I don’t have ADHD when I`m out in the woods.’  David, aged 14

Principles of Forest School

These principles were first articulated by the Forest School Community in 2002. They were reviewed in 2011 and sent out for a 5-month consultation to Forest School networks and practitioners in all UK nations. They were published on the Institute for Outdoor Learning Forest School SIG page in Feb 2012, and in the minutes of the GB trainers’ network.

  • FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  • FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  • FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • FS is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. See the full principles and criteria for good practice.

source : the forest school association

what we’re currently doing

christine has set up and runs the woodland wild play after school club.  currently this takes place for two sessions a week.  woodland wild play blog

andrew while training has been gaining experience at the woodland wild play club and at a school in ashbourne.
he’s been keeping a blog alongside his reflective journal string sticks blog

andrew has also made available via this download link the sheet that is used at the after school club to record the findings of the dynamic risk assessment  before the session and activities that happen during the session.  it’s made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.   The link has been shared with the Facebook group Level 3 Forest School Portfolio Building and Essay Writing Support Group 


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