Forest Schools


Tanglewood provides qualified Forest School Practitioners to deliver a Forest School programme either in your school grounds, local woodland or at our Woodland Site in the village of Tissington in the Peak District. Staff at Tanglewood have been delivering Forest School programmes for a number of years and have experience of working with a variety of schools and settings.

A typical programme will involve;

  • Working with small carefully selected group
  • A high Practitioner to Learner ratio
  • A minimum period of 6 weeks, 2 hours per week.

The Practitioner will be responsible for delivering;

  • Programme and session design and delivery
  • All equipment and materials
  • Practical skills
  • Health and safety assessments

Forest Schools is flexible in its approach so please contact Tanglewood to discuss your requirements in more detail. If you would like to arrange a free introductory meeting at your school to discuss your requirements in more detail please let us know.

For more information on the Forest School approach please take a look at the website for the Forest School Association (The FSA) - the national professional body for forest schools in the United Kingdom.

What people have said:

Forest Schools for Tissington Kindergarden, Spring 2016

“It's fantastic how more confident the children have become, their imagination and creative skills have progressed so much.” “Absolutely magical to hear and see week after week.”

Emma Kent, Manager at Mulberry Bush Nursery, Ashbourne January 2017

“The nursery children have really enjoyed Forest Schools at Tanglewood. They have been excited about learning and exploring the natural world. The children were immensely curious and had a strong desire to play and explore. During the sessions the children were able to free play, giving them space and independence, and a chance to imagine and learn social skills.”

What is forest schools?

Forest Schools is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.

Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia in the 1950s as a way of learning about the natural world. By the 1980s they had become an integral part of the Danish early years programme.
A Forest School is a secure area of woodland, which acts as an outdoor classroom where people can explore, investigate and discover the natural environment. They offer children, young people and adults regular opportunities to learn social, physical and educational skills while encouraging an appreciation and understanding of the environment. They also provide a valuable teaching tool for a wide range of curriculum subjects and are a good way to support and enrich the learning process over a wide range of subjects. Programmes run throughout the year going to the woods in all weathers (except for high winds). Children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

What are the benefits?

Forest Schools supports the holistic development of the child:

  • Health and fitness – Being active in an outdoor, natural environment.
  • Increased emotional wellbeing – There is research available supporting this.
  • Communicating, and negotiating with peers and adults to solve problems and share experiences.
  • Skills development – Developing fine and gross motor skills and coordination for real purposes.
  • Gaining knowledge and understanding – Multi–sensory, real-life learning.
  • Individualised learning – Careful observation allows adults to tailor support to children’s own interests and stage of development.
  • Curriculum Links – Forest Schools supports many areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, National Curriculum and the Every Child Matters agenda.