Benefits

1. Confidence

This was characterised by self-confidence and self-belief that came from the children having the freedom, time and space, to learn, grow and demonstrate independence.

2. Social skills

The children demonstrated an increased awareness of the consequences of their actions on other people, peers and adults, and acquired a better ability to work co-operatively with others.

3. Language and communication

The children developed more sophisticated uses of both written and spoken language prompted by their visual and sensory experiences at Forest School.

4. Motivation and concentration

This was characterised by a keenness to participate in exploratory learning and play activities as w ell as the ability to focus on specific tasks for extended periods of time.

5. Physical skills

The children developed physical stamina and their gross motor skills through free and easy movement round the Forest School site. They developed fine motor skills by making objects and structures.

6. Knowledge and understanding

Increased respect for the environment was developed as well as an interest in their natural surroundings. Observational improvements were noted as the children started to identify flora and fauna, and they enjoyed the changing seasons.

7. New perspectives

The teachers and practitioners gained a new perspective and understanding of the children as they observed them in a very different setting and were able to identify their individual learning styles.

8. Ripple effects beyond Forest School

The children brought their experience home and asked their parents to take them outdoors at the weekend or in the school holidays. Parents’ interest and attitude towards Forest School changed as they saw the impacts on their children.