There are a few basic principles to delivering Forest School:
- It is delivered out of doors, throughout the year.
Suitable clothing should ensure that rain, snow or extremes of temperature should not prevent Forest School from taking place. Good preparation allows participants to get the most out of sessions so they have the opportunity to learn in a natural environment without external distractions.
- Regular sessions in small groups.
Forest School tasters may only be a few sessions, but the benefits really start to show after six. Ideally, it should be carried out over a whole year; this enables participants to develop communication and team working skills, as well as learning new practical skills. Groups of 8 – 12 participants allow interaction with each other and for the leader to observe the group, so that subsequent sessions can be adapted to meet the needs of participants so providing a quality environment.
- Participants influence the programme.
Allowing learners to help choose activities and assess risks improves confidence and raises self-esteem. Sharing responsibilities develops independence and supports creative thinking and development. Including time for review and reflection within sessions is also important in increasing the effectiveness of learning.
- Qualified and experienced practitioners.
Forest School is delivered by a Level 3 practitioner to ensure that standards are maintained and current industry practice is followed.