Forest School Articles

Browse the Forest School article database for reflections, evaluations and case studies about the benefits and opportunities Forest Schools bring to creative play, imagination and learning in the UK.

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Handmade wooden Christmas treeI have set myself a creative challenge over on my Facebook page. Every day in December so far I have added a new winter festive craft made from things from the woods to a folder full of photographs.

Here’s a round up of my daily ideas so far. [ more..]

forest school, outdoor play, nature, children, doodleI thought I’d share with you a little doodle I had in the last edition of the Forest School Association newsletter. This is based on something that happened with a group I was working with a few years ago.

When you follow the children’s ideas you end up in very interesting places!

How to Bake in the Woods 2Well-being is really important, especially if you are working outside all day in the cold and rain. So with that in mind I thought I would share with you some of my favourite outdoor cooking treats, suitable for a day on the woods or a Forest School. [ more..]

Ropes Bridges 1I’ve written before about building rope bridges among the trees and how fantastic they are for children’s motor development, encouraging social skills and confidence and being loads of fun. [ more..]

There are some projects that really stay with you. I worked with Brudenell Primary School in Leeds for over two years, helping them embed Forest School into their curriculum, and providing training and support. [ more..]

Comfort Zone 2

Challenge: moving out of your comfort zone but still being able to function

“So, what makes you feel comfortable?” This was the question I asked a group of seven to nine year olds this week. [ more..]

Bradford West Forest Schools Reflections and Evaluation

Reflections and Evaluation

Bradford Community Environment Project (BCEP) has been involved in the Forest School networking group in Bradford since its inception, and have been involved with the development of Forest Schools in the Bradford District since 2005/6. [ more..]

Forest School Case Study: Carr Manor Primary

“We’re going down to the woods today”

“We’re Going Down to the Woods Today” was a Forest School project developed in partnership with Carr Manor Primary School by Lily Horseman of Kindling. [ more..]

Making Weapons 1I am, by nature a peaceful sort. However I often find myself building and making weapons. I do like the satisfaction of seeing a stick shooting off into the distance fired by a home made bow and we have made some constructions (that could best be described as siege engines!) that would fire pebble a good distance. [ more..]

Climbing Trees 1I have a source of pride to share with you; I was the best tree climber in my street as a child. I was small and skinny and could hold on to thin branches my brother and his friends were too big to handle. [ more..]

Making Popcorn on a Fire

Making Popcorn on a Fire

I took my fire top popcorn maker with me to the woods this week. Had I known it would be it’s last outing, I might have marked its passing in some way. The children were intrigued by the popcorn maker. A conversation I had with a group of 9 and 10 year olds went a bit like this: [ more..]

Song of Reflection 3I’m slowly getting through the backlog of jobs to do brought on by having a wonderfully wildly busy six weeks. I just worked out that I’ve had six weeks where I was in the woods or working outdoors with children or training adults every weekday except one, some weekends too! [ more..]

March Hare 9March has been an exciting month. So exciting in fact I have barely had time to write it all up! [ more..]

ginnelI was doing some research on a new site I will be using for a Forest School project when I came across a reference to a poet who had written about the wood. I wrote to her and she has sent me a copy of the poem. I think it may even inspire the children in the older groups to write poems of their own. [ more..]

Fire Cooking 1In a recent post a new provocation came from the children. My job when I am in this particular school is to follow the children’s lead and extend their ideas. This can be really exciting, especially as it is a large Foundation Stage with 100+ three to five year-olds. [ more..]

forest school practitioner-diary-wordle-2I have a love of words and have been using word clouds to sum up evaluations of training courses. The bigger the word is the more often it appeared.

I shared one of these recently and Alex from Schola Foris suggested a collective Forest School wordle of all wordles. This is a long way from being that, but here are the top 200 words from one of my Forest School practitioner reflective diaries.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

woodlandReviewing and reflecting is a really important part of what I do as a practitioner. It is also what I encourage children and other practitioners to do so they can see their own learning and acknowledge each others achievements. Sometimes really wonderful things come up. [ more..]

Forest School Reflections 2

Me as a smaller person, still with a stick in my hand.

In the last few weeks I have been working with people who are really trying to hone down their personal Forest School ethos statements. This has been an ongoing journey for me too and I thought I would share with you a little bit of that journey and extracts from my reflective diaries. [ more..]

Tracking tracks 8

Tracking tracks in fresh snow

Snow that is covering lots of the UK at the moment and when I’ve been out and about I can’t help keeping my nose to the ground looking for tracks. Walking up on the moors on Sunday (before it got so deep) we noticed a regular little round regular mark, keeping pace with some human footprints. [ more..]

Kindling delivered a training day with a wonderful enthusiastic group of Early Years practitioners on Monday. To end the session we talked about how being outdoors makes us feel.

We had been in the woods for most of the day and I asked them, based on the emotions and feelings they had had whilst they had been busy, and immersed in all sorts of creative and wonderful explorations what benefits they thought that similar experiences would have for the children they work with. [ more..]