What is Forest School

Forest School is a child-centred learning process, where children are offered the opportunity to spend time in natural settings that helps to support play, and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. 

At the Nature Hub, we strive to create a safe and supportive space for children in the outdoors. A space where they have the opportunity to explore and play at their own pace, where they are offered the time and encouragement to learn with nature and where they can connect with their peers in a fun environment. 

Forest School is an opportunity for the same group of learners and leaders to spend a sustained period outdoors, once a week, in a wooded environment, ideally year round. A regular routine is followed that is learner led and facilitated by trained leaders. Learning is holistic and closely related to developmental stage and regular curricular requirements. There must be a high ration of leaders to learners, everyone must be suitably dressed and a risk/benefit approach to health and safety is followed by all. (Irish Forest School Association, 2017)

The Benefits of Forest School

  • Co-operate as part of a team teaches child to be aware of others
  • Problem solving
  • Improves language and communication skills
  • Enhances numeracy and literacy skills
  • Hands-on learning
  • Improves physical skills
  • Connection with and understanding of nature
  • Fosters confidence and independence
  • Increased sense of place and belonging

Forest School Principles

Regular sessions
Forest school is a long term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.

Woodland setting
Forest school takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Forest school uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.

Holistic development
Forest school aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

Opportunity to take risks
Forest school offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Qualified practitioners
Forest school is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

These principles are based on the UK model of Forest School learning that is promoted by the Forest School Association. www.forestschoolassociation.org

Forest School groups

The Nature Hub Parent and Toddler Group

The Nature Hub Parent Toddler Group is a space for parents and their toddlers to spend time together in the outdoors. Each session will be spent beneath the trees playing games, making nature crafts singing songs connecting with the nature around us.
Sessions are ongoing, new term starting soon.

Woodland Explorers After School Groups

Woodlands Explorers is an after school group for 5 to 10 year olds. Forest After School groups are a chance for children to spend time outdoors after their day at school. Nature connection games, a bit of risky play, creativity in the woods, shelter building and lots of child-led free play! This is the perfect opportunity for children to get outdoors, connect with their peers, build confidence and to spend time in the woods after school. Kerry Walker is a fully qualified forest school leader, with remote first aid and lots of experience in working with children in the out doors. New term will be starting soon.  

Woodland Family Days

The Nature Hub understands the importance of spending quality time with your family. And what better way to connect that out in nature through nature games, fire lighting and creating nature crafts.
The Nature Hub offers monthly woodland family days.

Woodland Birthday Parties

Want an unique birthday celebration for your child?
The Nature Hub offers nature based birthday parties in a private outdoor setting.
Here is a sample birthday party schedule:
1.5 hours of outdoor activities; hammocks in the trees, a tightrope between the trees and 2 craft areas.

20 minutes for arrival with a game or free play.

A choice of crafts – the child can choose 2 of the following and will be able to take finished items home:
  • Making nature flags with flowers and plants
  • Making willow crowns
  • Making magic wands from sticks and wool
  • using clay to make forest creatures/bugs
  • seasonal craft

30 minutes preparing the fire area together and each child will get to use the flint and steel. Over a story the fire will be lit.