Why Forest School? / or really, why not forest school?

“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.”
Forest Schools Network

In modern society, contact with the outdoors is often limited for our children, and with that, vital developmental skills and respect for nature can fade.  Forest School is one of the ways that we can attempt to correct this balance and give our children the chance to live and learn freely with nature.
Forest School is different to traditional outdoor learning programmes because it has several features intrinsic to it:
* Forest School is delivered in a woodland setting framed by strict safety routines and established boundaries which allow the flexibility and freedom for child-initiated learning.
* Forest School learning can link to the National Curriculum whilst setting those objectives in a different context.  It is especially important for those who find it difficult to assimilate knowledge in a traditional classroom environment.
* Forest School encourages children to use all of their senses while engaging in creative, diverse and imaginative play.  The focus is on the ‘whole child’ and the development of soft-skills such as teamwork, confidence, problem-solving and creativity.
* Forest School programmes that allow the children regular interaction with the environment throughout the year and in all weathers allow children to become familiar and confident to explore and notice the changes taking place around them.

At Stonebury, we aim to give children not only fun and inspiring opportunities to play and learn within the woodland, but also to help develop the skills that will allow them to feel confident in many other areas of their lives.
Regular attendance at Forest School builds children’s:
Confidence – Social Skills – Language and Communication Skills – Motivation – Concentration – Physical Stamina – Knowledge and Understanding of the Natural World