Cotmanhay Infant and Nursery School

Celebrate, Inspire, Nurture, Succeed


Forest School




"Inspire, Aspire, Transform"


What  is  Forest  School?

Forest school is an active way of learning through hands on experiences in an outdoor natural environment. It is a child led process which encourages learners to use their imagination and creativity.


Our Forest School Ethos …

Forest School is a supportive and encouraging environment in a natural woodland setting where children are able to explore freely. We recognise and value the individual child’s set of skills and interests and through a wide variety of fun experiences, which encourage resilience and perseverance, children gain a feeling of achievement, pride and confidence in themselves.

At Forest School we also believe in showing children the importance of our natural spaces. We aim to inspire respect and love for the natural environment which will foster in them a desire to enjoy it, maintain and preserve it, both now and in the future.


The Benefits of Forest School …

A great deal of research has found that Forest School improves self esteem, confidence and resilience in its learners. It improves our sense of self, and how our behaviour impacts on others and our environment. It also develops problem solving and decision making skills and has a variety of physical benefits.


It’s fun and we make things. At the end we have a drink and a biscuit. We have a friend called Fern. My favourite thing was making a picture frame of sticks and flowers and leaves to remember Fern”



What Do You Need? 

At Forest School we believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing and we do go out to our sessions in all weathers. So if your child is attending Forest School, please send them with a change of clothes. We may get very dirty, so old clothes are better.

Cold Weather:

  • Sensible footwear – boots or wellies.

  • Pair of thick warm socks.

  • Warm clothing – several light layers are better.

  • Hat, gloves and scarf.

  • A warm coat, waterproof is preferable.

  • School provides a pair of waterproof dungarees as an outer layer.

Hot Weather:


  • A light long sleeved top (avoids sunburn and stings)

  • Light long trousers (avoids sunburn and stings)

  • Sun hat.

  • Sensible footwear – boots, wellies, or sturdy trainers.

  • A warm layer – just in case!


    Question: “How does Forest School make you feel?”

    Answer: “There’s only one word for it –   




How do we stay safe at Forest School?

 Safety is our upmost priority. Sessions are run in small groups with two members of staff. The sessions are led by a qualified level 3 Forest School Practitioner who also holds a certificate in outdoor first aid. Sometimes at Forest School

we use hand tools and have small fires. These activities are risk assessed and closely supervised. At Forest School we encourage children to take measured risks, appropriate to the environment and themselves. By learning to assess  

  risk as a child we are able to develop the skills needed to make safe decisions and an awareness of our own capabilities.


   “I am happy at Forest School. Remember to watch your toes when there’s a log coming through!”




For further information about Forest School, go to: or pop into school and speak with our qualified forest school practitioner Ms Mcnabb. 

If you would like more information on our Forest School policies and procedures, please ask to see our ‘Forest School Handbook’






Click here to find out what our forest school children have been up to this term

Forest Schools fun

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look at the fun we had on our way to forest schools this week....

thinking and imagination

Forest schools this week.

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Perfect weather for a mud cafe at forest school this week. Mud stew was the main dish on the menu! A big congratulations to Harrison for learning how to put up a shelter by himself. He had to learn how to tie a timber hitch, an overhand loop, a tensioning knot and a quick release knot just to put the rope up and he did this with only the tiniest bit of help. Then with a bit of teamwork from his friends to get the tarpaulin pegged down they were soon hiding in their new shelter. Well done forest schoolers!


Keeping warm