Forest School

Leader: Mrs Glynn

The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky – Margaret McMillan

At Allanson Street Primary School, we want to offer our children the highest quality, all-encompassing education, because of this we have included Forest School as a rich addition to our curriculum.

Forest School is a child-centred learning process, offering a wide range of opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions in nature. It is an approach that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in our onsite forest setting.

What will our children learn and why?

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

At Allanson Street Primary School, we shape our Forest School provision to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to support the requirements of the wider EYFS and National Curriculum by providing a bespoke, broad and balanced range of opportunities, ensuring the progressive development of concepts, knowledge and skills and for the children to develop a love and respect for the natural world.


As well as supporting academic and physical development, Forest School has our children’s Personal, Social, Emotional development and Wellbeing at the core. At Allanson Street we use the ‘5 Cs’, as outlined below,

Each Forest School session lasts for the whole afternoon and is planned to offer a wide range of learning opportunities, appropriate to the age of the group, the season that we are working within and the needs and interest of the children within each group.

Every session includes group games, nature led enquiry activities, periods of self-led exploration in the forest area and times for reflection and consolidation. In addition to these activities, the session may include planned opportunities for natural art, seasonal ceremonies such as wassailing, planting and harvesting alongside general bushcraft including den building, use of tools, fire lighting and cooking.

How will we ensure that our children leave us equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to flourish in the next stage of their learning journey and beyond?

Our Forest School provision has been mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure that every child receives a broad, balanced, and progressive offer. We have organised the delivery timetable so that every child will have experienced every season, and all the new knowledge and understanding this brings, during their time with us.

Annual Timetable:

Autumn 1Autumn 2Spring 1Spring 2Summer 1Summer 2
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5Year 6

Forest School is delivered by a consistent team across the year, ensuring that links between children’s prior, current and future learning are at a maximum.

Forest School directly links with the 3 Prime Areas of the EYFS curriculum as well as the Specific Area of Understanding the World in addition to linking with many areas of the National Curriculum.

How will Forest School make a difference for our children?

Forest School facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to lead their learning and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it, promoting respect and ecological awareness for the future.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) has previously caried out Government approved research to evaluate the impact of Forest School and its finding were that learners progressed in a variety of ways but most notably in their confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, physical skills and knowledge and understanding of the environment.

The Forest School approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. Risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.