Forest School

The idea of outdoor learning began in Scandinavia in the 1950s. Due to its positive impact on children’s development it was introduced into the UK in the 70s.

Child initiated learning is the main Forest School ethos and provides the children with the opportunity to explore using all their senses; it uses all areas of development and all learning styles. It empowers the learning through the child’s own desire to play, natural inquisitiveness, enthusiasm and their need to explore.

The programme is designed so that children have more freedom to make choices and take appropriate risks through learning to develop a trust and knowledge of their own skills and in people.

Forest School helps to build confidence, emotional and social skills, self-esteem and resilience. It provides them with the opportunity to learn about their environment and develop a connection with their natural surroundings.

The Forest School site is in the wooded area next to the school field.

The sessions are carefully planned and risk assessed so that children can experience learning through their own choices, supported by the adults to help them manage the risks.

The sessions can include:

  • Bush craft skills – lighting fires, building shelters, cooking over the open fire.
  • Using tools – Bow Saw, Clipper Knife, Bit & Brace, Secateurs, Bill Hook and Axe.
  • Arts and crafts – using woodland materials to make things e.g.stick people, clay faces, viking knitting.
  • Games such as crate challenge, bat and moth.

We want every child at Lindfield to have an opportunity to experience Forest School. At the moment, we are delivering sessions to all our year five children.

The Forest School Leaders are Paul Buckland, Angela Wood and Lorraine Pellett who have received specialist training from the West Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Children who have had the opportunity of Forest School said:

"I liked forest school. because you get to do stuff that you have never done before."

"I liked building a shelter because I think it was good teamwork.

"I enjoyed making the fire. I enjoyed the balancing challenge and making name tags out of wood."

"I liked toasting marshmallows, because you can make them really crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle."