Outdoor Play & Learning

Forest school is an opportunity for children and young people to experience a holistic approach to learning in a woodland environment. This unique educational approach is designed with the children at its core and is proven to build confidence and self-esteem as well as a deeper understanding of the natural world. Forest school believes in learning from hands on experiences, this can range from outdoor play, using tools, building dens, making fires or many more outdoor activities which are both designed by the leader and instigated by the children themselves. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem and social/communication skills are important parts of forest school however health and safety considerations are always of paramount importance.

The programme adopts a long term approach to outdoor play and learning. It focuses on the individuals that take part in the programme and their journey through forest school. Children engaged with forest school will take part in activities that are designed to motivate and provide a broader understanding of themselves and the natural environment in which they live. Forest school promotes a healthy and safe approach to outdoor learning and encourages children’s development.

We can create tailored forest school programmes to meet the needs of your group or organisation and create sessions that are designed to target specific outcomes like increasing confidence or building on risk awareness skills for example. The forest school programme puts an emphasis on child lead activities and encourages children to try things that interest them.

A minimum period of 6 weeks is recommended for forest school programmes to encourage long term development and a deeper involvement with the programme and activities.

Forest School for all ages!

We can work with all groups to create a forest school programme unique to you. Examples of groups include Schools, Community Groups, Charities, Private Groups, Local Government, Housing Associations, Organisations, etc.

Early Years

This is a great time to be starting Forest School to gain the longest possible benefits, the forest school approach was first developed to support the early years curriculum. Forest School is hugely beneficial at this age because of the rate at which children develop in the early years. The years from 0-5 are extremely important as far as development is concerned, in these years children learn processes that will shape them for the rest of their lives. Forest School complements the early years curriculum and allows young children to get outdoors and gain the huge benefits from engaging with nature. Forest school is child led and works in small ratios to allow for the best opportunities for experiential learning. Our staff are also trained in the Forest Kindergarten approach and with these tools we can help develop programmes that encourage children to be engaged outdoors in the early years.

Primary

Forest school as been widely used within the primary school sector for many years now and is an invaluable opportunity for children to be learning outdoors. Forest school promotes independence and develops children’s resilience. The sessions are adapted to meet the needs of the children and offer great opportunities to develop confidence, increase motivation and physical activity. This approach encourages the children to problem solve, think creatively and use their imagination. Forest school complements the Curriculum for Excellence for Outdoor Learning which states “Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.”

Teens

Forest School for young people aged 13-18 provides lots of opportunities that will challenge them and engage them with learning in a far more practical way. Our approach allows young people to develop skills that will increase their independence skills and develop their self-confidence. Through these opportunities young people have the chance to try fire building, den building and using tools outdoors. In a world where far more young people are staying indoors or are criticised for the time they do spend outdoors, it is absolutely vital that we provide opportunities for positive outdoor interaction. We must provide a space that allows young people the opportunity to grow and develop skills that will help them throughout adulthood.

Is Forest School for You?

We can work with all groups to create a forest school programme unique to you. Examples of groups include Schools, Community Groups, Charities, Private Groups, Local Government, Housing Associations, Organisations, etc.

Activities may include Tool use, Woodland Games, Conservation, Outdoor Cooking, Fire Lighting, Den Building & More

Forest School FAQ’s

Can I give Forest School a try first?

Yes, of course. We offer taster sessions ranging in length from 2 hours, half day or full day sessions. This gives you the chance to try some Forest School activities and see what works for you.

How much does Forest School cost?

The cost depends on many factors. The length of programme, location, and how many are attending. If you get in touch we will put together a proposal set to your requirements and work out the most cost effective Forest School programme for your organisation or group. We have experience in finding funding for groups and helping with funding applications. Our taster sessions are also charged with the above factors in mind.

Where can I do Forest School?

We have permission to use various parks throughout Glasgow and further afield. When you make an enquiry we will ask for your address and from that give you a list of potential options for forest school sites. By delivering forest school this way it allows us to bring the programme closer to you and thus encouraging long term forest school benefits. If however you would like to escape the city for a session or more we have various options outside the city to choose from.

Does our organisation need to provide a staff member or adult helper?

Not necessarily, when you book a Forest School programme we will discuss this further and may require you to include a staff member or helper to attend on the group/organisations behalf. We are responsible for running the forest school programme as well as the safety of the session but a supervising adult from your team might be needed during the sessions to ensure the group management and being responsible for getting children to and from Forest School. We can chat to you further about staff members or supervising adults helping out where needed. 

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Operation Play Outdoors
Glasgow, UK

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