Erin has completed her Level 3 Forest School Training and so has Zoe. In September 2022, Amy will start her Forest School Leader course. We offer Forest School sessions at our Chandlers Ford setting.
Our aim in providing these sessions is to encourage children from a young age to connect with nature. More and more evidence shows 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 environment 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 provide 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, scouting, guiding, outdoor education centres and bushcraft. 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 an 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 introduced it back at the college crèche. Their observations on the children at the crèche saw their ideas and creativity skyrocket. The nursery nurses ‘scaffolded’ the children’s learning to enhance their development. In 1995, the college began offering a BTech in Forest School. In 2002, the first national conference was held where a UK definition of Forest School was established. Several conferences have happened since (with key speakers) to reflect on the practices 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 for training.
The Forest School Association has affiliated local groups that 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 skills.
To find your local group visit:
FSA Hampshire have a Facebook page called Hampshire Forest School Association Local Group
Local Forest School Provisions:
More information on Forest Schools can be found at: