Forest School

An opportunity for your child to experience nature and the outdoor environment in a safe, secure and hands on way.

Netherbrook has an excellent reputation for our long-established work in Forest School. All classes take part in Forest School.

The aim of Forest School is to use the outdoors to inspire and engage learners. Children go to woodland areas that we have in school and take part in activities that will help promote their social, physical, intellectual, creative, emotional and spiritual development.

Forest School at Netherbrook hopes to promote a healthy lifestyle for the children by being outside and active but the children will benefit in many other ways such as being able to work as a team and all the activities are designed to build self-esteem within each child.

Learning in a natural environment enables children to learn to take risks and learn to succeed with small, achievable tasks. They learn to manage their own risk levels to achieve personal safety. Children learn best from hands on experiences. Exploring, playing and therefore learning using a range of activities and senses is what learning outdoors is all about.

The tasks the children undertake promote the development of self-confidence, patience, independence and determination to succeed. These tasks will include:

  • Using senses to explore and investigate the site.
  • Crafts using natural materials gathered from the site.
  • Learning knots and lashings to help with construction activities or pulling/moving heavy objects.
  • Exploring the natural environment.
  • Climbing trees and making play equipment from logs and ropes.
  • Learning to assess and take acceptable risks in the natural environment.
  • Storytelling, drama, making natural music and singing.
  • Cooking on an open fire.
  • Getting muddy!

Each year, every child in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 will spend a focus week in our outdoor classroom, learning about the natural environment and acquiring new skills. The sessions are not an ‘addition’ but are part of the children’s learning journey, part of our school year.

They will participate in a range of planned activities and will also have ‘free time’ in which they can pursue their own interests or revisit previous activities.

EYFS children will take part in sessions throughout the year.

Research shows that Forest School is a child-initiated, educational process that promotes, observes and supports the social, emotional and physical development of children and young people in an outdoor woodland environment.

Forest School offers children opportunities to achieve success, develop confidence and self esteem through hands on learning experiences in our 'copse' area, building area, kitchen and growing areas.

Dressing for Outdoor Sessions in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

It is important that all children have appropriate clothing suitable for all weather conditions. As the activities will be taking place outside, children should wear old, comfortable clothing which they can get muddy.

In the winter months, children will need to come prepared for each session with:

  • Woolly hat and scarf
  • Gloves
  • Old warm jacket/waterproof coat
  • Waterproof trousers (if possible)
  • Fleece/sweatshirt
  • Long, comfortable, warm trousers
  • Spare socks/jumper
  • Sturdy shoes/trainers
  • Wellies

In the summer months, children will need to come prepared for each session with:

  • A waterproof coat
  • Sun hat/cap
  • A thin, long sleeved top
  • Long, comfortable trousers
  • Sturdy shoes/trainers
  • Water bottle


See the children enjoying different experiences at Forest School: