Urban Forest outdoor learning

We believe that being outside and learning through Forest School pedagogy is a vital component of children’s development. Embedded in the curriculum, all children experience regular sessions facilitated by our own qualified Forest School leader in natural spaces around us in North London. The sessions rely a great deal on child-led learning through hands-on activities which help to develop practical, socio-emotional, and academic skills, as well as allowing children to enjoy the outdoors, learn about trees and plants and to respect nature.

For children aged 3-6, it is a perfect introduction to the natural environment, through exploration of plants and animals and sensory activities to learn about different textures such as bark, leaves and soil. There are story telling sessions related to nature as well as lots of imaginative play with natural materials. They will also learn basic outdoor skills such as using simple tools for digging, rope balancing and moving around on uneven terrain. In addition, art and creativity play a big part in outdoor learning, and children are encouraged to use natural materials in their arts and crafts activities.

Children aged 7-11 progress to a more advanced exploration of the forest environment, learning about local flora and fauna through observation. It is also an opportunity for team building and cooperation, through group activities such as ultimate hide and seek. They will also tackle simple problem-solving tasks in a natural setting such as learning basic navigation through landmark spotting and being introduced to fire safety and outdoor cooking. It is also a subliminal way of learning about ecosystems, biodiversity and natural cycles, neatly complementing their learning in the classroom.

Outdoor learning promotes the holistic development of children, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners and offering them the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. For children living in an urban environment this is the perfect way to connect with nature and have the freedom to develop.

In the Summer Term, we take all children in Years 3-6  away for a 3-day residential camp in the countryside where they can apply all the forest skills they have learned during the year.