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Forest School

Forest School is an innovative, child-led approach to learning that is rooted in the principles of play-based learning, exploration, supported risk-taking and hands-on experiences. Forest School offers all children regular opportunities to develop their confidence, creativity, independence and resilience through active learning processes and respectful interactions with each other and the natural environment.

Forest School provides opportunities for our children to have creative experiences in the outdoor environment in a safe way. Children learn how to communicate effectively, set and achieve personal goals, take supported risks, and use their own initiative to solve problems creatively and work collaboratively with their peers.

At Watling Primary School, we prioritise education in, about and for the environment. We promote sustainability and educate our children in the role they play in protecting and preserving the environment for generations to come. We provide opportunities for our children to make connections with the natural world through inquiry, exploration and active learning.

We also use the Forest School approach to further our capabilities in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), merging the wonders of the natural world with creative thinking and problem-solving. This innovative approach allows children to explore STEM concepts in a hands-on, engaging and dynamic outdoor setting, fostering a deep connection with nature while developing crucial academic and critical thinking skills.

Incorporating STEM into Forest School promotes critical problem-solving skills linked to real-world challenges, encourages clear communication to ensure successful teamwork and collective learning, and develops perseverance as children work towards achieving ambitious goals, learning from both successes and setbacks.

In addition to this, our Forest School sessions create endless opportunities for cross-curricular links with National Curriculum subjects such as Science, Maths, English, Geography, Art and Design Technology.

Our blended Forest School, STEM and environmental education approach nurtures curiosity, creativity and a lifelong love of science and nature, whilst developing important holistic growth which prepares our pupils for future academic and personal success.

In Forest School, all participants are:

  • treated as equal, unique and valuable
  • seen as competent to explore & discover
  • entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
  • entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
  • entitled to experience regular success
  • entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
  • entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world