Forest School

Runwell Primary School is committed to becoming a Forest School and currently have two members of staff training to become Level 3 Forest School practitioners.

What is Forest School?

The term Forest School refers not to a particular place, but an ethos and philosophy that places outdoor education and understanding of the natural world at the heart of the provision.  It is seen as a relatively new way of working in the UK but has in fact been around in Scandinavia for many years.  Early Years children benefit particularly from the approach which encourages problem solving and an element of risk taking in order to develop children’s social and emotional well-being.

What are the principles of Forest School?

  • It is run by qualified level 3 practitioners.
  • It is a long term process with regular contact with a local wooded environment (preferably over the seasons).
  • It follows a child-centred pedagogy where children learn about and manage risk.
  • It has a high adult:child ratio.
  • Observations of the learners are key to enabling scaffolding of the learning.
  • Care for the natural world is integrated.

What will this look like at Runwell Primary School and Nursery?

The nursery provision at Runwell will be headed up by a fully qualified teacher with Level 3 Forest School Practitioner status.  Daily activities will centre on the use of the 4 acre greenfield site that the school has exclusive use of.  High quality outdoor learning will be interspersed with more traditional learning styles which will give the children an excellent grounding in the prime areas of development as laid out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.  Our aim is to ensure that all children leave the nursery ‘school ready’, but with a strong focus on building inquisitive, adventurous and resilient learners!