Forest School is a model of learning based in natural spaces outdoors, particularly woodland. While it has many aims, its primary purpose is to boost the self-esteem, resilience and emotional literacy of all learners involved, whilst simultaneously nurturing an enjoyment, appreciation and respect of the woodland environment. Experiences in the Forest School setting are learner-led, but scaffolded and facilitated by leaders who are experienced in and passionate about using the natural landscape as a space to promote all aspects of the PSHE curriculum often taught within the more traditional classroom.
Life is better outdoors! Being in open spaces impacts positively on physical and mental health. By focussing purely on small challenges (such as tying a 'slidey' knot), the children will develop PSHE skills through challenge, persistence and successes or even failures, which will then be transferable into their everyday lives.
In the woods differences are not judged but celebrated; challenges are tackled and overcome; failures are reflected upon and put to good use next time; successes for oneself and for others are commended. Children leave the woods in a positive frame of mind with an increased sense of self-worth, which in turn spreads positively into other areas of their lives.