Green planet
Forest school
An S4A Group Company

Frequently asked questions

At its heart Forest School is an educational philosophy and psychology (a pedagogy) that places a high value on play and nurtures creativity and curiosity, putting the needs of the participants (children), and their holistic development before the demands of a school curriculum. It should revolve around frequent visits to forests, woodlands and other wild places to build familiarity, community and care for the planet. The ideas behind Forest School emerged from the progressive, communitarian forest cultures of Scandinavia and northern Europe, and in the past twenty years those ideas have put down roots in the UK and right around the globe.

Our emphasis at our sessions, whether they are during school time, at an afterschool club or during full days at holiday camps is always on children leading the way. This empowers them to direct their own learning in fun ways which enable them to discover what excites them, explore their interests and play in a way that suits them rather than being prescribed what they should do and how they should do it. We believe this supports their independence as well as enabling them to quickly gain or hone skills such as confidence, resilience, perseverance and communication. Read more about the value of free play and how it benefits child development here.

The Green Planet team prepares for sessions by setting up stations or situations such as for whittling, fire lighting, campfire cooking, shelter building, crafting, tree climbing, construction using tools, and supports children on whichever activity they choose to explore. In order to fully appreciate the range of fun activities on offer, a very detailed list of those activities and their benefit to child development can be found here. Of course all of this goes on in a woodland area giving access to nature which itself is both a great educator and an amazing place to play.

The Green Planet Forest School team welcomes children from any primary school in any area, with any level of ability. Children with SEN needs are not only welcome and well catered for, they traditionally excel in this environment. And if you are unsure about booking your child please read our excellent reviews on Trust Pilot or by all means contact us directly for a chat.

A great deal of effort goes in to making sure your children are safe both physically and emotionally at our Forest School sessions. There is a great deal of development potential in children taking risks, physical risks like learning to stand up and walk or emotional risks like learning to meet new people and experience new things for example, our highly trained, qualified and experienced team ensure that any risks are minimal and rewards are maximum. Our risk assessment policy document is available on request, just contact us and we’ll be happy to share it or discuss it further.

All sessions are led by a qualified Forest School Leader and the team are all safeguarding and paediatric first aid trained. Executive Director Alex (Mr Mud) is also a children’s mental health ambassador and teaches children practices such as mindfulness and grounding to support their mental wellbeing and help them deal with challenges they may face.

At all times of the year closed shoes, long trousers and long sleeves are the minimum. This reduces the chances of injury from brambles, nettles and insect bites.

During the colder Autumn and Winter months sessions do still go ahead in almost all weather conditions [more here] and so to keep everyone warm and toastie we have some specific recommendations for clothing and footwear which is covered in this post.