Forest School is many things to many people, its diversity makes it inclusive.
The Forest School Association, the UK-wide organisation dedicated to promoting quality Forest School for all defines it as:
“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, 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.”
In addition to the definition above there are 6 key principles to ‘Forest School’ practice:
1. Forest School is a long- term process with frequent and
regular sessions rather than a one-off visit. Planning,
adaption, observations and reviewing are integral elements
of Forest School.
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.
3. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development
of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent
and creative learners
4. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
5. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School Practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
6. Forest School uses a range of learner centred
processes to create a community for development and learning.