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Forest School

What is Forest School?

Forest School is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a woodland environment.

Children engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year in almost all weathers, children will work with tools, play and learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social. Grow in confidence, self esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world.

The Forest School concepts originates in Denmark, originally aimed at preschool children, where it was found that the children who had attended Forest School, then arrived at school with strong social and communication skills. They had the ability to work in groups effectively, generally had high self esteem and a confidence in their own abilities. These foundations helped them to raise their academic achievements. 

Forest School encourages children to:

  • Develop personal and social skills.
  • Work through practical problems and challenges.
  • Use tools to create, build and manage.
  • Discover how they learn best.
  • Learn how to manage failures.
  • Experience achievement and success.
  • Reflect on learning and experiences.
  • Develop their language and communication skills.
  • Improve fine and gross motor skills.
  • Build confidence in decision making, risk taking and team building.

Outdoor learning and Forest School at Ashton Vale

At Ashton Vale we aim to provide engaging outdoor learning opportunities, through a hands on approach, encouraging children to make decisions, work in a team and take risks within certain boundaries.  This approach has been shown to build confidence through creative engagement with the natural world. We also visit other woodland locations, each providing a very different holistic experience.

Gatehouse Green Learning Trust was recently recognised as a Forest School provider, by the Forest School Association, who are the professional body and UK voice for Forest School, promoting best practice, cohesion and 'quality Forest School for all.' 

At Ashton Vale we strive to ensure children can learn through exploring the Natural World, we have a passion for the outdoors and child led learning.



 Images of Outdoor learning experiences  

 Forest School challenges