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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 Association)

The Ethos of Forest School

The Hedgehog Club is committed to the ethos of Forest School and aims to:

  • Support all children to fulfil their potential

  • Promote a love and respect for nature and the outdoors

  • Encourage the children to be confident and independent in the forest environment

  • Encourage the children to be curious about the world around them

  • Provide a safe, exciting and fascinating learning environment.

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The Forest School Association has set out 6 principles that Forest Schools should adhere to:

Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.

Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Principle 5: Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Principle 6: Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.

Forest School Principles