‘Trusting in God; Growing in Wisdom’

Our approach to Forest School

Sing, O Heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed you and will be glorified in all the earth!

Isaiah 44:23

What is Forest School?

At Whitegate C E Primary School Forest School is delivered following six key principles that shape and govern its ethos.

  1. Forest School is a process of regular sessions, rather than one-off of infrequent visits
  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  5. Forrest School offers the children the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to themselves and the environment.
  6. Forest School is run by a qualified practitioner.

It is only when we see the six principles working together do we truly see the value of Forest School.

At Whitegate C E Primary School, we believe that the children are:

·equal, unique and valuable

·competent to explore exciting challenges and discover

·entitled to experience appropriate risk 

·entitled to choose, and initiate and drive their own learning and development

·entitled to experience regular success

·entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people, enabling them to work both independently and cooperatively

·entitled to develop, a strong, positive relationship with their natural world

At Whitegate C E Primary School, we aim to inspire a child centred learning process, that nurtures ressless curiosity  and offers opportunities for holistic growth. Our Forest School program supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.

We aim to facilitate more than knowledge-gathering, Forest School helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. We achieve this creating a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try things out and take risks. We endeavour to inspire a deep and meaningful connection to the world and how our children fit within it. Our approach to risk means that at Whitegate C E Primary School the children constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps our children to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners, prepared for 'life in all its fullness'.

 “I wish my mum could see me now. She would think that I’m really brave.” Year 4

“I didn’t really play outside but now I do. I love Forest School because were like a family” Year 5

“I Like exploring the amazing forest because you’re in an open space and you do creative stuff and play with different friends” Year 6

“I love Forest School because Miss Barlow lets us be free!” Year 6

“I Loved making the fire” Year 2

“I like Forest School. I get to shine at things that I’m good at.” Year 4

“We get to use tools, like knives - it’s epic!” Year 5

“I get to show off my talents” Year 3

“We learn how to use knives and about teamwork and just being outside is fun!” Year 4

“Tuesdays are my favourite because it’s Forest School! I love being able to tell my mum everything that we’ve done when I get home.” Year 6


If you have any questions regarding Forest School, please contact Miss Barlow(subject lead) via the school office.

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