#forestschool – please help!

Many teachers will be noticing the rise and rise of the idea of a Forest School in UK schools.  A Forest School, in a nutshell, is when children learn outdoors, generally using resources provided by Mother Nature.

In the summer term, I would like to spend some time with my class using the fantastic grounds at my school.  At the moment, I’m thinking that I would like to cover our objectives using the outdoors and the vast green spaces and woodland on our school grounds.  The problem is, though, that there is a wealth of information and knowledge out there and I don’t know where to start.

If you are familiar with Forest Schools, what online information can I use for advice and ideas?  This could be blogs or websites.  Ideally, I’d love to see blogs showing how teachers have used Forest School ideas with Year 3.

The reason I have blogged this instead of tweeting is because I’d like to gather information together in one place.  Hopefully people will respond by commenting, and this post will be a resource for others.

If you can help, please do!


8 Replies to “#forestschool – please help!”

  1. @jdeyenberg – did some great stuff at @MultiMartin’s ‘Growing Greener’ event on learning through geocaching
    @CreativeSTAR – knows all there is to know about outdoor learning. See her website http://www.creativestarlearning.co.uk/ and blog http://creativestarlearning.blogspot.co.uk/
    Also, have a chat with Martin Waller – he does a lot of outdoor stuff and has some good contacts.
    Here are the local links for Tyne & Wear http://www.forestschools.com/find-your-local-forest-school/?cn-s=&cn-cat=57&cn-pg=1
    I know Harriet Menter. She is totally lovely and would be more than happy to help.
    Hope this gives you a start.

  2. Hi Simon

    I know you’ve asked for comments here, but the best informal support group on the Internet at the moment has to be the Forest Education Initiative Facebook group. It is a hotbed of support, ideas, suggestions and other bits and pieces. This should be your first port of call.

    In terms of where to start. I just began by looking at my termly plans and looking at what could best be learned or would work best outside. The hardest thing is developing the habit. I found it helped to begin with a weekly commitment which rapidly moved to a daily one, which eventually become the 50%+ model I’m now on when I’m in school.

    Best wishes

  3. Harriet Menter says: Reply

    HI Simon, I’m a forest school practitioner working at in Newcastle, and Lynda Dixon asked me to send you some info after seeing your request on Twitter. The best place for advice and info is a facebook group called Forest Education Initiative. If you join the group and post what you’ve written above I’m sure you’ll get a wealth of responses, also look at past threads, there are so many great discussions, ideas etc on there. If you want to talk in person please feel free to ring me at work on 0191 2004706. Hope this helps

  4. Check out my blog. Last year I took my P7s out to woods beside school a lot. This year I have P4 (year 3). Would also highly recommend FEI Facebook group!

  5. Fiona Hamilton says: Reply

    Look on FEI website – Scotland pages have lots of exemplar session plans for all stages, lots of other information and advice too.

  6. Hi Simon,

    You may be interested in some of the work we are doing at our school. Take a look at http://www.growing-greener.co.uk and if you’d like to know more feel free to get in touch. Although not specifically ‘Forest Schools’ it does have the same ethos.

    We are also hosting a networking event with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust if that is something you are interested in attending?


  7. Hi Simon, first of all, congrats on taking this step on getting outside with your class. You are lucky to have grounds available in school so have no transport costs etc. I have been taking my nursery class to local woodlands for the past 5 years & have to say if I could go every week I would. I find the kids are way more motivated outside. Here is a good piece on how teachers in Scandinavia get outside with their classes: http://blog.childrenandnature.org/2013/02/12/udeskole-in-scandinavia-teaching-learning-in-natural-places/
    If you need any advice etc. give me a shout kiernacorr@hotmail.com

  8. Hi
    Soon the FSA Forest School Association website will be up and running and will be the central source for things FS in the mean time. I have listed several sources of impartial info on my Forest School Portal. Such as FEI, FSW and FEN all linked from http://www.muddyfaces.co.uk/forest_schools.php
    As a forest school practitioner and ex FS trainer I believe it is important that people have access to impartial information about forest school. Large commercial companies dominate the sector and it can be very confusing to someone new to Forest school as to what FS actually is. Forest school is not one entity but made up of many passionate parts for example many people are not aware there are many forest school trainers up and down the country (many are listed in the portal.)

    hope the portal is useful
    Also We have a muddy faces swap shop facebook page dedicated to outdoor activity ideas.

    kind regards liz

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