Online Learning Journal

Ambourne House Day Nursery 233 Gloucester Road, Patchway, Bristol BS34 6ND

T: 01454 615352

Forest School

What is Forest School?

‘Forest School’ is a long term holistic learning process that aims to raise self-awareness and self-esteem in participants. Regular sessions take place in a woodland environment, where the landscape itself adds to the experience of learning.

Qualified practitioners, trained in child development, self esteem and learning theories facilitate sessions to gain personal outcomes for each participant. Forest School can be applied to all age groups and abilities, and can be linked to the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS).

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Forest School Principles

  • Forest School is for all children and young people
  • Forest School builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.
  • Forest School is organised and run by qualified Forest School leaders.
  • Forest School maximises the learning potential of local woodland through frequent and regular experiences throughout the year, not a one-off visit.
  • Forest School helps children to understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment.

Sessions of Forest School are child/learner led to accommodate individual learning styles and schemas, children/learners are encouraged to make choices, and follow their own learning. The adult’s role is facilitative and enables observation and assessment of the children/learners by the qualified Forest School Leaders.

Teachers learning Support Staff and Child Care Workers involved with children/learners who undertake Forest School report significant improvements in independence, self esteem, social skills, and concentration levels.

Parents of children involved in Forest School have reported changes in independence, self-esteem and their child’s social outlook.

Who can benefit from Forest School?

Children/learners of any age. Considerable experience has been gained in developing Forest School in The Foundation Stage but over the past 5 years this has been extended through the Key Stages in many schools. Considerable work is now being done into Key Stage 3.

What parents and carers are saying

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For everyone at Ambourne House. Thankyou so much for all the support and kindness you have shown towards my son since his 1st day with you all. He has grown so much in confidence and in all his developments stages. Having him at Ambourne House was the best decision we both made. After visiting a few local settings, he was very certain he wanted to go to ‘the blue house’. It felt like a family environment and all the staff were so welcoming. I always felt at ease that he was very well looked after and safe. So, Thankyou so much. my son will miss Pre-school very much and his dad said he was teary when he was on his way home. Although this is sad to see, it gives us reassurance that by these emotions he was very fond of everyone at preschool. - M. Welch 01/09/21
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We cannot thank you enough for taking such good care of our baby girl and helping her become the confident and clever little girl that she is. You are such a good team.
~ Scott & Jodie ~


Thank you so much for all the love and hard work you have put into the nursery. The boys have learnt so much and had a wonderful time. It has made returning to work so much easier knowing they were somewhere they enjoyed and where hugs weren’t limited.
~ S and M Bull ~


I want to congratulate you as a setting as to how well you are handling the Covid situation. Everyone else I know with nursery age children have had to have them isolate at least twice! Seems you are one of the only settings to be keeping on top of it all, such a testament as to how hard you all must be working at the moment.
~ Harriet ~