Forest School Ethos

Forest School Ethos


The aims for our Forest School is to create a safe, comfortable and engaging learning environment for children to develop through hands-on activities, semi-planned sessions catering to the children's different learning styles, needs and areas of weakness. Throughout the program, the children will be encouraged to develop following the holistic approach to learning with areas such as physical, intellectual, language, social and spiritual skills and knowledge. This will be done by providing activities and ideas that can be interpreted and changed by the children helping them to develop their independence and self-motivation. With reports on the increase of child obesity linked towards technology usage, it’s especially important to give children opportunity to explore nature, learn new skills, implement them beyond the Forest School setting and enjoy being outdoors. Therefore, Forest School will provide the children with the freedom to explore, investigate and use our site ensuring they do so sustainably to prolong the ecosystem as long as possible for the future. They will develop life skills such as problem-solving, negotiations, delegations, teamwork, independence, self will, self-motivation and self-awareness by immersing themselves in nature without the boundaries of wrong and right ideas answers and learning processes giving the opportunities to learn that failing comes with many benefits for improvement.

The Forest Schools aims to build the children's self-confidence, self-esteem, and self- awareness through a child orientated and led Forest School program with semi-structured sessions relating to critical psychologists and theorists studies to encourage the children to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions through natural art, construction, verbal communication, and personal reflection. Theories such as Vygotsky's Scaffolding approach which gently guides children in the initial learning of skills, building their knowledge and self-esteem to complete tasks individually without adult intervention; Gardners Multiple Intelligence theory, providing activities, resources, and support which relates to different learning strengths, interests while developing areas of weakness.

A development on Gardners Multiple Intelligence theory, Colin Rose produced the Accelerated Learning theory, believing the forest schools provide a positive learning environment to stimulate all learners to be involved in contextual activities that can link to everyday activities while working individually or collaboratively with underpinning learning styles. Finally, McMillian's Open Air theory, giving the learners the experience to spend time outdoors providing them with fresh, clean air to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Furthermore, by providing fun, exciting and challenging activities, the children will build a sense of trust and respect, once the leader feels it is appropriate, the children will be given the opportunity to participate in higher-risk activities. Those activities include the use of wood crafting tools such as sheath knives, billhooks, bow saws and more to create a range of woodland objects; additionally, fire building activities expose learners to an element of nature that some may not have encountered. Therefore, teaching them safely and responsibility can create a situation of spiritual development with the building of a sense of place and community through collective singing, storytelling/sharing and potentially cooking.

St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School. Manor Park South, Knutsford WA16 8AL

Tel: 01565 633637 | Email: