What is Forest School?
Forest School is a child-centred learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth of children. It allows children to develop their confidence to lead their own learning at a pace that is suitable to them. It supports play, exploration and supported risk-taking that allow children to increase their awareness of themselves and the natural world around them.
Forest School originates from Scandinavia and arrived in the UK in 1993, and has strong links to the open-air culture.
At TPA we will experience the varying seasons throughout the year, and will develop a strong relationship with the natural world through exploration, discovery and wonder. We encourage 'supported risky-play', where children will problem solve and understand their own capabilities, and give children the freedom to choose their own activities based on their particular interests, rather than set learning targets and goals.
What to expect at Forest School?
At TPA, we will offer the children a range of activities that will develop children physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and morally. These may include:
- Shelter Building
- Fauna and Flora Identification
- Whittling and Carving using tools (such as peelers and knives)
- Fire Lighting
- Planting and Harvesting
- Team Games
- Story Telling
- Learning Knots and Rope Work
- Free Play and Exploration
All of our activities are fully risk assessed, and are managed and supported by trained Forest School leaders. A site check is completed before every session to identify and remove any hazards. We take into account risk benefits when planning activities, and will only offer activities that have benefits that outweigh the risk (e.g. fire lighting and tool work). When risks are involved, thorough risk assessments are completed and updated regularly, and children are always given safety talks and monitored in these activities. We believe risk-taking is an important part of a child's learning and encourage children to begin to recognise risks for themselves, with adult guidance. This 'risky-play' can develop a child's self-confidence and resilience.
TPA Forest School Handbook
Our handbook outlining all policies, risk assessments and guidance on our Forest School sessions at TPA can be found at the bottom of the page.