How did Forest School start?
The concept of Forest School began in Scandinavia. The schools were successful in using the outdoors to develop the social skills of young people. They improved their ability to work in groups, showed confidence and increased levels of self esteem. Forest Schools were also established in the United States in the 1920’s and Sweden in the 1950’s. Learning about nature and using measurable outcomes, lead to recognition as an educational method in its own right. By the 1990’s Forest School then began to spread to the UK. Bridgewater College and later Evesham College developed the concept for British schools. Forest School is now established around the whole of the UK in both urban and rural settings.
Children have fun learning in the outdoors, whatever the weather. A lesson allows routines (much freer than in the classroom) to be established in an environment where there is freedom to take risks and for children to lead their own learning. Children are encouraged to look after nature, look after each other and to look after themselves. Planned activities allow children to develop a range of skills and take part in curriculum activities through challenges and meaningful experiences. Forest School is a way of learning rather than learning that takes place in a forest.
How can this help with learning?
Regular experience of Forest School allows for children to develop:
Children show improved enthusiasm for learning and concentration in the classroom.
Where is Forest School?
Forest School is the new name for the schools eco garden.