Forest School

Forest school is for all children and young people but isn’t a badge or place as some people might believe- the name refers to an outdoor learning philosophy.


The Forest School Association defines this unique learning ethos as:

….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.

Some perceive Forest School to be simply about fires and tools and children relish the opportunity to take part in these activities. The reality is that these exercises are not intrinsic to the Forest School ethos. Fire lighting and whittling are practiced with the aim of teaching children how to manage risk but this is one of many significant benefits, other benefits for example include the development of:

Social, language and communication skills

Physical and motors skills

Knowledge and understanding of the environment

Self-esteem and self-confidence

Motivation and concentration

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.

Giant Leap Forest School is fully accredited by the Forest School Association. All our children benefit from our Forest School programme and we encourage children to follow their individual curiosity, meaning no two days are ever the same! Our activities follow themes such as:

Mini beast hunts

Tree climbing

Den and shelter building

Campfire cooking

Woodwork using tools

Nature art and bush craft

Games and trust building exercises

Fire building and lighting

Puddle and mud jumping

Natural music

Quick Forest School facts:

Forest School is for all children and young people.

Forest School builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take managed risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.

Forest School is organised and run by qualified Forest School leaders.

Forest School helps children to understand, appreciate, respect and care for the natural environment.

Forest School takes place in all weathers.

Further benefits of Forest School

For many children, outdoors is their preferred environment.

Outdoors offers learning opportunities that are different or additional to indoors but of equal value.

Forest School practice recognises the value of accessing outdoor provision to enable children to be healthy and achieve well-being.

Physical activity and development and the use of all our senses can stimulate the brain and intellect.

Forest School practice promotes choice.

Forest School provides opportunities for managed risks and challenges that promote confidence.

It is recognised that there is a surge of testosterone in 4-5 year old boys (and some girls) requiring more vigorous activity.

Forest School promotes a deeper understanding of the natural world and how people affect and effect their environment.

Forest School compensates for the modern restrictions that children may suffer and enhances their childhood experiences.

Forest School fosters independence – more opportunities to play, learn and develop away from an adult regulatory gaze.

For further information about our Forest School Approach, please visit our sister website – Go Outdoors Nature Play & Learning Centre.


01282 425893