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Primary Academy

Forest Schools

Forest School is a hands-on, active way of learning in outdoor environments. It is a child-led approach to education, where they are given time to explore and learn by doing activities that take their interest.

Forest School will be a weekly session for children from F2 to Year 6. Children will have the opportunity to go outside to areas of the school grounds and take part in group or individual activities. Sessions will be structured differently to classroom lessons: children will spend some of the time playing circle games and discussions, activities such as learning how to use tools and light fires safely, cooking and den-building.

The aim of Forest School is not just to learn outdoors but to enjoy being part of their environment! This is a time for children to be inspired, build confidence and expand their experiences and skills.


Opening the Mansfield GATE through Forest School

Children acquire knowledge of the local outdoor environment and Generate ideas about how to contribute to the developing Forest School community and be responsible members of environmentally-conscious society.  

Children Aspire to be confident, outdoor learners who can recognise, identify and group lifeforms in the local environment; select and use tools appropriately and safely, and site and manage a fire responsibly and effectively.  

Together, all children have a sense of belonging, communicating ideas and know where they fit in their community. They develop their team-working skills and collaborate on group activities.  

Children Enquire about the natural world through pupil-led exploration of the outdoor environment and share their interests in order to extend learning opportunities in-the-moment and in the future.  


Forest School leaders have identified key outdoor skills and knowledge and consideration has been given to ensure progression throughout each year group across the school. Cross-curricular opportunities in Forest School have been identified and are considered and made reference to during sessions where appropriate. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom and contributing to the environment being embedded in practice. Children are given opportunities to impact their own learning through self-exploration and by developing their independence and resilience in the outdoors. 


Children are given ample opportunities to develop skills and knowledge, and where appropriate they can demonstrate and use these skills independently in their own explorations. Children review their contributions at the end of sessions, assess the skills they have developed and contribute to their own target-setting with support from their teachers.