Forest School

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What is Forest School?

Forest Schools are nature-based communities where trained practitioners nurture learner-led exploration and discovery, nurturing meaningful experiences for positive lifelong impacts.

“I think every child born on this planet is fascinated by the natural world. If they aren’t it’s because we deprive them of the opportunity” – Sir David Attenborough

At Forest School we make sure every child gets that opportunity. We encourage play, exploration and supported risk taking. Our goal is to develop confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. Throughout their time at Ocklynge the children will play nature based games, build shelters, make fires, grow, harvest and cook food as well as learning to use a range of tools. All this takes place in our wonderful on-site Forest School area which includes a copse, hedgerow, a pond, fruit and vegetable beds, rope swings, a digging area, a willow dome, bug hotels, a bog garden, log piles and a stumpery.

Activities at Forest School offer many opportunities to demonstrate our school values: whether we are responsibly using tools or building fires, showing respect for plants, animals and each other, showing resilience in the face of challenging weather or reflecting on how we care for the natural world around us.

Time spent in nature can have a very positive impact on our children’s emotional wellbeing and help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. We run Forest School nurture sessions throughout the year. Forest School is also a brilliant location for children with special educational needs because of the multi-sensory and enabling environment, where children can explore and take supported risks.

If you have any questions about our Forest School programme, please contact Mrs Swingler at

A teacher is helping a pupil outside on a work bench.
A group of pupils are helping out in the garden.