Think about setting up a Forest School?

Some points to consider:

  • Why do you want a Forest School in your setting?
  • Do you want Forest School which is mainly child led or do you actually want curriculum linked outdoor learning?
  • How can Forest School fulfil those aims?
  • If you want to set up a Forest School are you able to adhere to Forest School Association Principles of Forest School?
  • If you want to offer outdoor experiences or learning but you are not able to follow the principles then call it something else; Nature Play, Wellie Wednesday, Woodland Wonders etc.
  • If your sessions are not led by trained Forest School leaders have you considered risk assessments and the previous experience or alternative qualifications of your leaders?
  • Are all your stakeholders on board including the head teacher, governors, teaching and support staff, admin especially the business manager, grounds maintenance and site supervisor, parents and pupils?
  • How are you going to communicate with your stakeholders?
  • What equipment do you need to start with?
  • Where are you going to set up your Forest School; on site or off site?
  • How will you manage your site?
  • How will you keep your site safe?
  • If off site how are you going to get there and how will you transport your equipment?
  • What do you need to do to the site to prepare it for Forest School?
  • Where will you store your equipment?
  • Have you considered the adult:child ratios?
  • Who will staff your Forest School?
  • What training will your staff have?
  • What will the knock on effect be on the rest of the setting when your Forest School is in action?
  • What funding will you need?

Tina has experience of training as as a Level 3 Forest School leader and setting up an onsite Forest School in a Primary School whilst a class teacher. She has also experience as a freelance Forest School Leader and Outdoor Educator working with schools, an activity centre and local parks.

If you have a member of staff setting up a Forest School and you are in a Leeds setting they can join the Leeds Forest School Cluster Group by emailing Tina and asking to be added to the mailing list. We have termly meetings usually on a theme but are also a support group happy to answer questions. Membership is free.

If you would like Tina to visit your setting and advise on setting up a Forest School or Outdoor Learning Expereinces send an email to discuss.

If you would like a CPD taster session of Forest School either on site or off site contact Tina to discuss possibilities and charging.

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