Erin has just completed her lv 3 Forest School Training. We now offer Forest School sessions. Erin has been introducing the Forest School Ethos to the children.
At Forest Footsteps Childcare we will be providing Forest School sessions for children attending our pre-school. Our aim in providing these sessions are to encourage children from a young age to connect with nature. More and more evidence and reports show less children spend time outdoors compared to in the past, which in return effects children’s development and emotional well-being.
Forest Footsteps Childcare is fortunate to have a permanent outdoor area and access to Ramalley Copse offering ample opportunities for outdoor learning and providing Forest school sessions. Encouraging children to enjoy and explore the outdoor environments will support the children in all areas of development with a holistic approach.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is a child led approach to learning and development. Sessions are run for a length of time providing regular visits to a natural area where children can explore, investigate, take their time and take risks. Sessions are planned from observations to promote the holistic development of the learners by ‘scaffolding’ and supporting the learner’s ideas.
Forest School is fairly new to the UK. Outdoor learning has always been part of our children’s heritage in the UK through playing in the streets, bush craft, scouting and outdoor education centres. During the 1970/80’s our education system introduced the National Curriculum developing a more teacher/outcome-centred approach to learning. Many people preferred alternative educational models and in the 1990’s Forest school in the UK started emerging. In 1993 some Nursery Nurses from Bridgewater College visited Denmark where outdoor learning and a open air culture is seen as a way of life. The group of Nursery Nurses were so inspired with the child-led learning in an outdoor environment that they had observed they introduced it back at the college crèche. Their observations on the children at the crèche saw the children’s ideas and creativity. The Nursery Nurses ‘scaffolded’ the children’s learning to enhance their development. In 1995 the college began offering a BTech in Forest school. Since then a network of outdoor learning and Forest School have joined introducing the ethos, principles and criteria to Forest School. In 2002 the first national conference was held where a UK definition of Forest School was established. Several conferences were held with key speakers over the period from then till now. All conferences reflected on the practice of Forest School, adapting and developing the ethos and principles. In 2012 the Forest School Association was developed offering a professional Association and a governing body to training.
Forest School Association affiliated Local Groups offer a network to practitioners and members to be able to share their best practice. This provides an opportunity for Forest School Leaders to continue with their reflective practice where they can continue learning and developing their knowledge and practice.
To find your local group visit:
FSA Hampshire have their Facebook page – Hampshire Forest School association Local Group.
Local Forest School Provisions:
More information on Forest Schools can be found at: