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What is a Forest School?


Forest Schools is not a place, it’s a philosophy. Our Forest School involves onsite activities as well as visiting the local woodland environment of Copthorne village.


Forest Schools is different to 'outdoor education' because it is a long-term, sustainable approach to outdoor learning which builds confidence and independence in children through the exploration of, and experiences in the natural world. It is not just a one off outdoor activity with specific objectives in mind. It is a set of regular visits to a particular outdoor area where children develop personal, social and other skills which have been proven to enhance their learning.


It has been defined as "an inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment".


By introducing Forest School sessions at Copthorne Junior, we aim to nurture an understanding and respect for natural places where children experience nature at first hand through a series of engaging and achievable tasks.

The Forest School experience brings learning to life and improves a child’s ability to work cooperatively whilst also offering them opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate their own styles of learning.


Forest School promotes healthy motivation and enables individuals to fulfil their own goals. It permits staff to take a step back and observe the children in order to then heighten, enhance and inspire them to achieve through careful scaffolding and facilitating. This can then be extended into the classroom by bringing outdoor learning experiences inside.

"Forest School is something that brings people together, working as a team to create and discover new things. It always makes me feel excited because you are always busy doing something and never, ever get bored. Forest School is simply amazing!" (Evie H)