At Hadley Wood we are lucky to have a dedicated Forest School area with a pond and use of the woodland site in the nearby Hadley Wood Association grounds. We introduced Forest School during the 2020-2021 academic year as a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdowns and a need to reengage our pupils in their learning. The children at our school have been enjoying accessing the outdoor environment since.

Working in close partnership with Four Seasons Forest School, all pupils receive sessions run by a qualified leader to promote confidence when working outdoors, resilience, teamwork and a growth mindset. 

What is Forest School?  

“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve confidence and develop self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment  with trees”  

Forest School Association 

For more information about what Forest School is please click on the link to watch this video about Forest School produced by the Forest School Association 

In Forest School children learn about being outdoors, how to make fires and shelters, how to climb trees, to identify plants and animals, to use our imaginations, to explore and ask questions and to share our thoughts, ideas and feelings. 

Children work individually or in small groups to complete activities that are child-led and intrinsically motivated. By allowing children to take supported risks, Forest School can help to develop self-esteem, confidence and resilience. By encouraging children to take part in group sharing, communication is developed and language is shared. 

By allowing children to spend significant time being active outdoors, Forest School can improve well-being & physical health. 

How we plan for and teach Forest School: 

At Hadley Wood our forest school curriculum is designed by trained leaders to make considered links to our humanities and science curriculum. Each session is designed to be progressive and build on the skills from the previous session, whilst challenging children to think in a creative way. Sessions are then adapted to further meet the children’s interests, whilst bringing in vital elements of oracy and mathematics. 

The impact of these sessions has already been seen since the implementation of Forest School, with children becoming even more passionate about our outdoor environment and sustainability! Don’t just take our word for it… ask our pupils!

Betta says, “Hadley Wood Primary School allows us to have many fun experiences to enrich our learning and help us become more confident, capable and caring. My personal favourite is Forest School. At Forest School we do lots of fun activities such as making dens, climbing trees and building fires. Most important of all though is that we learn about nature and how to protect our environment. Our Forest School leader, Mrs Turner taught us about the different types of trees and plants that surround our local area. My favourite part of Forest School was that we got to light our own fire and toast marshmallows. One of my favourite memories from Year 3 was the Summer Solstice evening, where we all got to tie dye tops using natural materials. I can’t wait to do this again in Year 4 and develop my confidence with the great outdoors.”

Jack says, “I enjoy having forest school sessions as they allow me to work with my friends to develop my teamwork skills. I really enjoy exploring the forest and looking for creatures in the pond. It is fun to go outside in the pouring rain as it feels like I am an adventurer.”