Especially popular for Early Years, Foundation Stage, and Primary School children, the Forest School approach also works for a wide age-range of youth groups and pupils, and there is growing interest in its capacity to include those excluded from mainstream education.
Through learner-centred, creative, playful and physical activities such as exploring and examining their surroundings, using natural materials, props and simple tools, participants' awareness and knowledge of their environment is allowed to develop naturally, individually and collaboratively.
Forest School takes place all year round, in all weathers except high winds and electrical storms. One of the benefits of a long term Forest school programme (12 weeks plus) is being able to observe and experience the natural rhythm of the year in a woodland environment: the cycle of life, the turning of the year, and a personal sense of place.
Research suggests that regular participation in Forest School sessions: