Forest School

Forest School is a specialised and inspirational child-centered learning approach that sits within and complements the wider context of outdoor education at King’s Hawford.

Forest School Location

As soon as you arrive at King’s Hawford, you cannot help but notice an area densely populated by trees with a little wooden gate on one side, through which a world of outdoor exploration awaits. There are carefully arranged logs on which the children sit together to enjoy a hot chocolate in the fresh air before delving into the natural space around them and learning through outdoor play.

Forest school sessions

After excitedly pulling on their wellies and Hawford, red overalls, children have the chance to learn outdoors in Forest School whatever the weather. Planting trees, building shelters, looking for wildlife and generally becoming familiar with the outdoors whilst learning skills they can use throughout their education. Through Forest School, the children develop positive relationships with themselves and other people and a strong, positive relationship with the natural world.

When do we use forest school 

Forest School at King’s Hawford is used all year round, encouraging children to wander through the available space, climbing trees, building habitats, helping each other to learn and grow whilst being prepared for all weathers. It is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of the children, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. 

Forest School Safety 

The children get to know the Forest School site well; they are aware of their boundaries and understood what is safe and unsafe. The high adult to child ratio means children can safely experience activities such as finding out about fungi and berries, observing mini-beasts or lighting fires. 

Forest School Learning 

Small, manageable tasks are set at which children are unlikely to fail and for which genuine praise is given. The Forest School ethos creates an outdoor environment where deep-level learning and progression are the norm. In this way, children are given an excellent foundation for future learning.