Forest and Beach School: Learning and Play
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By Karen Hart

Discover a range of Beach and Forest School activities.

Forest School

Think of forest and beach school learning and creative projects immediately spring to mind – with the abundance of free materials readily available, there certainly are multiple possibilities to get imaginative. However, in addition to creative projects, it is easy to cover all areas of learning when exploring outside, with many practitioners now seeing real benefits in children’s development, behaviour and overall wellbeing when more of their day is spent in a natural, open environment.

When working with children outdoors, keep tasks small and easily achievable to build high levels of self-esteem. Ensure children have plenty of involvement in any tasks taking place and are not simply ‘watching the teachers’, this will allow them to build confidence in their own abilities.

The Forest School Association has the following six key principles that govern the Forest School ethos:
  • Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  • Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
  • Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
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