Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School

Life at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School Life at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School Life at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School Life at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School Life at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School Life at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School

Forest School

Woodland Wanderers 

Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary’s Forest School

The Forest School Principles

Forest School is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or other natural environment.

The Forest School concept originated in Scandinavia and was originally aimed at pre-school children. It was found that children who had attended forest school seemed to benefit in many ways. They arrived at school with strong social and communication skills, had the ability to work in groups effectively, displayed high self-esteem and generally showed confidence in their own abilities. Research has shown that the benefits identified in the original forest schools appear to benefit learners at all levels.

There are 6 principles of the forest school (published by the Forest School Association )

  1. Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather a one-off or infrequent visit; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a 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 offers learners the opportunities to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves.
  5. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  6. Forest School is run by a qualified Forest School practitioner who continuously develop and maintain their professional practice. 

The six principles and ethos of Forest Schools sits well alongside our values at Birkenshaw. We pride ourselves on providing a caring, supportive and effective learning environment where children in our care can flourish and strive towards their full potential.








Within our Forest School we want our children to further develop their social, emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual abilities through working and playing in nature. We want the children to feel safe and develop a connection with the world around them by providing a nurturing environment where they can be free to play and learn, to have a go at new things, learn to take risks and become more independent learners, taking charge of their own choices. 

Forest School at Birkenshaw provides opportunities for and encourages children to:

  • develop their personal and social skills
  • develop their language and communication skills
  • improve physical motor skills
  • work through practical problems and challenges
  • develop practical skills
  • use tools to create, build or manage
  • pursue knowledge that interests them
  • build confidence in decision making 
  • evaluate risk
  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth
  • reflect on learning and experiences
  • regularly experience achievement and success
  • learn how to manage failures
  • discover how they learn best
  • improve their concentration skills
  • become more motivated
  • understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle

Climbing Trees









Cooking on a camp fire


Creating beautiful artwork

Cross lashing to make a frame

Developing our tool skills and making crafts

 Flower pounding


Flower pounding and printing



Having Fun!




 Supporting each other



Tying knots


Using a handsaw


Using a billhook & mallet to split wood

Chilling in the hanging net