Best Practice

Embracing the benefits and fun of forest schools

Creating forest school environments and opportunities for primary pupils of all ages can pay dividends. Emma Lee-Potter looks at some recent research and speaks to one school that has embraced the outdoors...

Every child at Ernehale Infant School gets the chance to take part in a forest school session for a whole afternoon each week.

The 210 pupils, all aged between four and seven, enjoy activities like pond-dipping, building dens and shelters, climbing trees, whittling sticks, learning to tie knots and toasting marshmallows and popcorn by the fire. The children bring their own wellies but the school supplies their red waterproof trousers and jackets and they head outdoors to the forest school on the school site in all weathers, come rain or shine.

The sessions start with a warm-up on an obstacle course made of old tyres. Then the children move to the meadow, sit in a circle and sing their own forest school song, which they have learned by heart.

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