Forest Schools


Tanglewood provides qualified Forest School Practitioners to deliver a Forest School programme either in your school grounds or local woodland. 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

“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

“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.”

AU-SUMS Home Education Forest Schools Programme – comments from the parents
AU-SUMS provides social support to children, young people and families who are affected by autistic spectrum conditions across Staffordshire.

“For S to have had the opportunity to attend Forrest school has encouraged her to explore her areas of learning & communication , learning life skills that she wouldn’t of done in school. It’s helped her get over one of her biggest fears , ‘fire’. Now I have pictures and videos of her putting fires out and cooking food on, this is something I’d Never thought she could achieve in such little time . Katie is very approachable for all children and spends time with them all on an individual basis. S and I hope to return soon. Thankyou.”

“Forest school has made a big difference to O. He’s learnt new skills, made new friendships and embraced the outdoors. He’s tried new foods made on the campfire that he wouldn’t normally try. I’ve enjoyed watching O and the other children flourish. We have some definite future leaders in some of the older children that were amazing and patient with the younger members of the group. Very proud of all them. Thank you for the opportunity.”

“To attend forest school was a totally new experience to C and she embraced it , learned new skills like building campfires, wood cutting, forest crafts. Even eating food cooked on the fire which was a total surprise. Became chief hot chocolate maker and I was overjoyed that sometimes she looked after the smaller ones in the group. Very proud of everyone. Had fun and laughter.”

“I don’t even know where to start! J has loved forest school was very quiet and reserved at the start, but Katie really helped him come out of his shell. He was lighting the campfire, cooking, sawing wood, building dens and playing games with other kids. He even managed to make some new friends which is very difficult for him. He was silent the first few sessions and towards the end was chatty and even asking questions! I really hope this is on again!”

“Forest school was amazing. C has always been interested in Bush craft and is a young leader at Cubs. I was so proud of him for his patience helping the younger children and passing on his knowledge. He had a fantastic time. Thanks.”

“Forest school was amazing. A enjoyed being outdoors for a change and enjoyed being a fire starter. Being around other children in a different environment helped him to relax and be himself as he has been quite stressed lately. Seeing him cook food over an open fire was good, even if he only ate marshmallows at least he tried to help prepare the different foods for others. I really hope we can do this kind of thing again. We love it.”

“Forest school has proved to be the perfect setting for expanding S’s practical and social skills. Free from the noise and bustle of modernity he has found a new confidence due ostensibly to the wonderful activities which have proved so effective in engendering a true sense of self-worth.”

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.