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At Carlton Primary School we provide Forest School as part of our wide-ranging curriculum with the vision to develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. Forest school is for the holistic development of the child. Teaching and learning through recognition of the mind, body and spirit. All aspects of learning are developed to be child-led and provide challenging yet achievable tasks that encourage a strong sense of well-being and resilience. Children gain an understanding and respect for their environment while exploring all of the possibilities and adventures it has to offer.

Our programme is inclusive to all and runs throughout all key stages of the school with activities that are diverse and numerous, creating independent learners who are inspired to try out their own ideas, explore their own interests and attempt new possibilities. Children are encouraged to manage their own risks in a controlled environment, learning vital life skills that will be beneficial for later life. Opportunities are provided to the children to gain skills in woodcraft, fire-lighting and outdoor creativity.

Forest School encourages:


  • working through practical problems and challenges
  • discover how they learn best

Reflection –

  • pursue knowledge that interests them
  • reflect on learning and experiences
  • improve concentration skills


  • develop personal and social skills
  • develop language and communication skills


  • learn how to manage failures
  • build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk
  • participate in small achievable tasks 


  • understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle
  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth

Creativity –

  • using tools to create, build or manage
  • regularly experience achievement and success

Responsibility -

  • care for our environment and learn about human impact
  • understand sustainability practices
  • become more motivated and independent 


Suggested Activities for Forest Schools

Activities for Forest Schools are diverse and numerous but it should be reminded that we are trying to create independent learners who are inspired to try out their own ideas, explore their own interests and to attempt new ideas.

Some activities might include:

  • Shelter building
  • Fire lighting o Tool use
  • Studying wildlife / nature hunts
  • Playing team and group games
  • Sensory activities
  • Tracking games
  • Cooking on an open fire
  • Using a Kelly Kettle
  • Rope and string work
  • Art and sculpture work
  • Woodland and traditional craft
  • Developing stories and drama, and meeting imaginary characters
  • Physical movement activities