Forest School


Bolshaw Forest School provides our children with the opportunity to immerse and express themselves in the natural environment and learn key skills for life including independence, resilience, curiosity, creativity, problem solving and risk taking.

Our children learn about and gain respect for the British countryside and its wildlife, understand how to look after it and become responsible members of society.

Forest School for every child - every week starting September 2022

It's an exciting time for us at Bolshaw this academic year as we finally launch our Forest School curriculum offer to every single child. We having been delivering Forest School for over 12 years and in September every child at Bolshaw will be taking part in Forest School every week. The sessions are led by our two newly appointed Forest School leaders Mrs Sykes (Level 3 Forest School Practitioner) and Mrs Rowden ( currently training for Level 3 Forest School Practitioner) Forest school sessions take place in the morning or afternoon out in our own Creature Camp; consisting of woodland and designated Forest School areas. The children take part in crafts, games, shelter building, using tools, fire lighting, bug hunting and much more.

The emphasis is on child led exploration, enquiry based learning and team work. Nature connection and well being are so important and these sessions offer, all our children, the time and space to explore, feel free, rest and reflect in the natural world of Creature Camp. The children learn how to keep themselves, the group and the site safe and of course to have fun in all weathers!

Green Fingers!

Benefits of Forest School

We believe our Forest School ethos focuses on an approach to learning that maximises the emotional, social and developmental benefits of education.  Research now backs up what forest school practitioners have known all along – that children and young people are stimulated by the outdoors and typically experience, over time, an increase in their self belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication and problem-solving skills and emotional well-being. 


  • increased frequency of physical exercise
  • a challenging environment that helps to develop motor skills
  • fresh open air allows dispersal of viruses
  • learning to prepare and cook healthy food
  • devbelops healthy minds leading to being mentally and emotionally healthy 
  • creating healthy lifestyles  
At Forest School children are physically active a lot of the time and their stamina improves as they go through their Forest School sessions. Their experience can also help to lead to the development of healthier lifestyles as children ask parents to take them on trips to woodlands and green spaces outside of school times. As the children gain confidence and improve their self-esteem this can impact on their emotional and mental well-being.


• space and resources are naturally available, allowing individuals or groups to investigate and problem solve
• an opportunity to be sociable and also to have time alone
• time to just be, where individuals can relax and explore interests
• personal motivation
• a willingness to try new tasks
• the ability to persist at tasks increases

Keep Learning - Enjoy and achieve 
  • Achieve stretching national educational standards at primary school
  • Achieve personal and social development and enjoy recreation 
Forest School sessions allow learning in a different context for children where they can undertake a range of practical activities and carry out small achievable tasks. At Forest School children can develop their team working skills and also learn to become more independent. Those who are unfamiliar with woodlands and green spaces can become confident in using them and this can form the basis of a life-long relationship with natural spaces. 
Make a positive contribution 
  • Develop self confidence and successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges
  • Developing enterprising behaviour 
Forest School helps children to develop their confidence. As they become familiar with Forest School they can take their new-found confidence into school and into other areas of their lives. Forest School can be particularly effective for children who find the classroom environment challenging. Children learn to solve problems and be creative and imaginative at Forest School thus showing enterprising behaviour


  • an understanding & appreciation of the natural environment through experience
  • knowledge of how systems interlink, and how we affect our surroundings
  • spending time in the environment and using it to play and learn effects us at a deep level
  • this connection with nature opens us up to care more for the environment as adults


• many of the skills that develop as a result of spending time at a Forest School are essential life skills that in time will benefit the economy
• children develop determination to complete tasks and manage risks
• they learn to work together as a team communicating effectively
• the environment stimulates the use of descriptive language, mathematical problem solving, calculating and taking acceptable risks, working towards personal reward

Stay safe 
The  natural, safe environment of Forest School ensures that children taking part learn to assess risk and are encouraged to make sensible and informed decisions about how to deal with unfamiliar and unpredictable situations (such as exploring or climbing trees, using tools to build shelters and dens). Much of the learning for a child comes as a result of the opportunities they have for testing their own abilities in a real life context


• Forest Schools can offer the opportunity to involve parents & the wider community in their development & running
• families are more likely to access woodland spaces & spend time playing in and enjoying the outdoors if they have been involved with the development
• often the whole school shifts its approach to outdoor learning as staff have the opportunity to observe children in a different setting
• this has a knock-on effect as techniques can be applied across other learning


Find out more about the  Forest School approach to learning:

Forest Schools Association

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Bolshaw Primary School

Cross Road, Heald Green, Cheadle, SK8 3LW

Lynda Brown

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