What Learning Looks Like At Forest School
Updated: Apr 1, 2021
Learning in the woodland is sometimes obvious and exciting and sometimes subtle and
mundane. Gently bubbling under the surface, curiosity flowing, sparks flying. Deep
concentration and the joy of following their own path.
It's in the child using their body to run and climb, launching themselves along the zip wire, taking
that first brave leap. In the child engineering a canal or dam in the stream. In the child digging
for clay and creating beautiful pots and adorning them with forest finds. In the eagle eyed child
noticing the small treasures, the tiny bones, the owl pellets and fungi that usually goes
unnoticed underfoot. It's in the children sitting in trees, chatting the morning away, navigating
friendships, group dynamics, finding their voices, falling out and making amends. In the child
baking cakes and soup and plenty of tea in the mud kitchen, or peacefully reading their book by
the wood burner.
It's in the dens, the long walks and lunches in favourite spots along the way. It's in the cloud
watching, laying in the long grass and buzzard spotting, it's heading out on an adventure from
our little woodland home.
It's in the practitioner who sits and whittles for hours on end with the child who wants to practice
their knife skills over and over. In the practitioner who checks in, listens and laughs with each
child, chatting about full moons, the passing of pets and holidays and trips they are counting
down the days to. It's in the practitioner saying it's ok not to feel ok.
It's in the constant checking of the weather, checking the children are warm, dry, fed and
comfortable. It's in the afternoons spent seeking shelter together from the high winds, teaching
each other how to play hopscotch and sharing jokes. It's in the warm breezes and spring
flowers, the sweaty, muddy, smiling faces.
It's in witnessing the connection when new friendships blossom and the long standing
friendships deepen from spending our days together, week in, week out, through the changing
seasons. It's the whole beautiful year learning together in our woodland, making memories that
will last us a lifetime.