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What is Forest School and What are the Advantages?

Over the past few decades, the UK has seen more forest schools pop up all over the country, in an attempt to reconnect the younger generations to nature and nurture empathy and curiosity towards the natural world. There have been numerous studies to support how beneficial forest school and play-based learning is for children. If you are looking for a private nursery or nursery services that offer forest school as an educational tool, keep reading to learn more about how this can benefit your child.

outside garden of forest school

What is Forest School?

Forest School is a holistic and learner-led outdoor education process that allows children to develop themselves through healthy engagement with risk, problem-solving and self-discovery. It takes place in a natural environment and in a hands-on and thoughtful manner. While many nursery services incorporate outdoor education in some way, Forest School provides its own philosophies and ethos that can benefit children in a multitude of ways.

Forest Schools are usually provided through several regular sessions over an extended period of time, ideally weekly over at least a year so that children can experience different seasons. Forest Schools generally focus on primary school age, pre-school and nursery. However, teenagers and pre-teens can benefit from Forest School also.

How does Forest School benefit children?

The benefits of Forest School are based on long-term, regular sessions and echo the holistic development aims. Research suggests that children can benefit in a range of ways from confidence to social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language development.

Case studies have shown children can:

  • Develop self-regulation skills.

  • Cope with and learn from failure.

  • Build resilience (the skill of coping with risk and failure).

  • Gain a sense of achievement.

  • Increase motivation and concentration.

  • Improve problem-solving.

  • Expand their vocabulary and communication skills.

  • Feel empowered and have new perspectives.

  • Build positive relationships with adults and peers.

  • Have overall improved well-being and mental health.

How can I get my child involved in Forest School?

If you are considering enrolling your child in Forest School, it is worthwhile researching nursery services or private nurseries in your area that provide Forest School education. If you are looking for Forest School nursery services in Harrow or Pinner, get in touch with Blue Nest Montessori today.

Our Forest School approach to private nursery learning is rooted firmly in key progressive education theorists from Froebel to Steiner, Vygotsky to Montessori, Dewey and Gardner. We give the child the space to be at the centre of their own learning and explore the world with appropriate support.

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