Forest School

Forest School at Barnehurst

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Here at Barnehurst Federation of Schools the intent of our Forest School is designed to inspire a love of living with nature to all our children from Nursery to Year 6 with regular fortnightly sessions and to offer all learners a wide range of opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem, as well important personal development skills, such as collaboration, leadership and resilience.

We are extremely fortunate at Barnehurst to have two areas of Woodland to use as our Forest School – one for exploration, development and enjoyment of the great outdoors aimed primarily at EYS/KS1 and a second enhancing the knowledge gained in early years and moving on to focus more on nature/environment and continuing to develop skills. An added bonus is that the school has 2 highly skilled and qualified Level 3 leaders with a passion for the great outdoors. 

The ethos of Forest School aims to provide a safe and secure but also a challenging environment allowing children to take risks, learn about themselves and their relationships with others and creating a well-rounded child.

Personal Development and SMSC at Forest School


Allow and encourage children to lead activities and to support each other. 

Play games that rely on non-verbal communication or set challenges for children to complete without speaking. 

Mix groups when possible to experience communicating with other of different ages, abilities and backgrounds. 

Children to work in pairs and teams to complete tasks to develop co-operation 


Provide opportunities for children to develop fine motor skills such as craft activities, knots and whittling 

Provide opportunities for children to develop gross motor skills such as tree climbing and den building 


Share knowledge and experiences with the children 

Encourage them to share experiences of their encounters of nature 

Provide a variety of activities to promote their learning and mastering new skills 

Build on prior knowledge developed in the classroom 


Set challenging activities and goals to develop personal satisfaction in achievements 

Child led activities that allow learners to take ownership of the sessions and will help develop satisfaction and enrichment 


Use reflective activities at the end of the session that encourage wellbeing 

Where possible and appropriate try to avoid interfering in conflict between children to give them the opportunity to develop conflict management skills 


Encourage children to express their individual points of view and beliefs 

Discovering the awe and wonder of nature through first hand experience

Place children in different groups to give them experience of communicating and working with others of different backgrounds, religions and beliefs