What is Forest School?

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better!" Albert Einstein

Forest School is an educational ethos that has grown from the Scandinavian education system. There children start school at a later age, but have a very strong preschool education system. This includes a lot of time spent learning outdoors in the natural environment.

In the UK Forest School has developed steadily since the 1990’s, when a group of educationalist visiting Denmark noticed that the children there had great strengths in areas like confidence, resilience, emotional intelligence and self esteem. Since then there has been research that shows a strong link between such strengths and the ethos of Forest Schools.

At Northbrook Primary Academy we believe that giving the children such opportunities will help them become better learners while at school, as well as giving them strengths and skills that will stay with them for life.


The Principles of Forest School (FS)

  • FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  • FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  • FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • FS is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. 


What happens at Forest School?

At Northbrook Primary Academy, we aim to make use of our large grounds to offer our children the chance to experience Forest School Learning.  Forest school sets out to encourage, motivate, engage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences.  Forest School sessions encourage children to learn about and take care of the natural environment, while learning how to assess and handle risks, to use their own initiative to solve problems while learning to co-operate with others.  Through these sessions, children's own confidence, self-esteem and self-motivation are developed and encouraged.   All sessions are led by an in-house qualified Level 3 Forest School Practitioner or by an external member of staff from the West Lancashire Sports Partnership supported by another member of staff.  Children attend Forest School sessions in small groups throughout the school year allowing them opportunity to experience the seasonal changes that take place around them in a familiar environment.


Where is the forest?

Although a woodland environment is ideal, with a little imagination almost any natural, outdoor environment can be used. To this end, we have been working on developing an area of the school field to be used for forest school sessions.

For more information about Forest School, look on

Forest Schools 2023