Establishing a Forest School can create a high quality learning environment for children and can be hugely rewarding. There are a number of implications that will need to be considered before creating a Forest School:
• Training: A level of time and money commitment will be required depending on the qualification sought. Ideally practitioners would train to become a Forest School Leader, this is a practitioner who has trained to Open College Network (OCN) level 3.
• A Forest School Site: An appropriate area for your Forest School will need to be designated. This might be in school grounds, local woodland or natural area.
• Kit and Equipment: Certain tools, equipment and clothing will be necessary to run a Forest School.
• Time Commitment: Establishing a Forest School is a long-term commitment, whereby children would ideally take part in a session every week throughout the year. It is the repetitive nature that benefits young children allowing them to develop and learn at their own pace.
• Costs: Training, equipment, site maintenance, and transport all may need to be considered. There are many possible sources of funding available to help with these costs.
• Health and Safety: When working with children in an outdoor environment, the correct health and safety procedures and guidance must be established and followed.
• Employing Forest School Leaders :If you are thinking about employing a Forest School Leader this link will give you advice on choosing the one that suits your needs best.