Laver Close, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG5 7LS

01159 560990

Coppice Farm Primary School

A small school with a HUGE heart!

Forest School


Forest School Lead: Mrs T Miller

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an inspirational concept in which children develop confidence and self-esteem by working in a natural environment. At Coppice Farm we have a great outdoor space and a dedicated Forest School site in which children have access too, all year round.

 Our Forest School and Outdoor Learning is delivered by specialist provider, Heather Perry of Get Lost in the Forest alongside our school staff - everyone gets involved!


Forest School is a unique method of outdoor learning.

Here at Coppice Farm Primary, our aim is to encourage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences.
Children will have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others.

Our Forest school and outdoor learning environment  provides opportunities for children to develop self-esteem, self-confidence, to form positive relationships with others, to
develop a growing awareness of their emotional needs and the needs of others, to learn to cooperate and work with their peers and adults and to develop strategies
in order to take risks within the boundaries of safety.

The children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of
behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self-motivated.


Our Forest School and Outdoor sessions are led by a specialist teacher and builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.

Forest School is about exploring and experiencing the natural world through practical activities. The children go out in all weathers, all year round, exploring and learning from the seasons and environment changes. Appropriate clothing will be worn and during high winds it will be considered unsafe to go into the woods. 

The children’s interests along with the varied natural resources in our forest area are used to stimulate creative thinking, problem solving and skill development.
One of the principles of Forest School is to promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainability. The children are taught about respect and responsibility for the world around them. Both the children and adults are encouraged to respect their environment and to be aware of conservation issues of the wild area around them.

If appropriate, reclaimed, recycled and sustainable resources will be used to maintain and develop our forest school site. Encouraging children to care for the environment is an essential part of Forest School. In order to encourage the children to look after the site we will always
leave it tidy and never damage anything growing in it. We will only collect things that are on the ground and leave the area as we found it when we leave. The Forest
School Leader will monitor the site so that it does not become overused.


The success of forest school and outdoor learning allows the children to grow in confidence as a result of the freedom, time and space they are given in their learning. This allows them to demonstrate independence at each individual child’s rate.
Activities such as sharing tools and participating in play help teach the children to work together as a group, which strengthens their bonds and social skills.
The sensory experiences provided by Forest School helps prompt language development. Improving communication skills has a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem and is a crucial part of their development.
High levels of interest lead to high levels of attention. Spending time in the woodland is exciting for a child. It tends to fascinate them which develops a strong will to participate and concentrate over long periods of time.
The increase in outdoor activity has a positive physical impact. Not only does the development of physical stamina improve but also gross and fine motor skills. Children develop an interest in the great outdoors and respect for the
environment. Encouraging children to develop a relationship with the natural world will help in protecting the environment for generations to come.

Forest School isn’t just beneficial to children it is also beneficial to teachers - observing their class in a different setting allows them to gain a new perspective
and understanding of their class.
When children really engage with Forest Schools they will take their experiences home to share with friends and family.  Taking children outside of the classroom removes the pressures of academia and allows them to play to their strengths. This is beneficial to children who struggle in
the classroom because there is more of an opportunity for them to learn at their own pace.

Principles and Ethos
The main aim of Get Lost in the Forest is to get children (and adults) outside! As well as all of the benefits to physical and mental health, research has proved that spending time outside and building that connection with nature ensures that people feel more responsible for and respectful of the world around them, which in turn leads to thinking about what we can give back to nature instead of only focusing on what it can give us. One of the main messages that flows through our sessions are: we don't own the forest, we are just lucky enough to be able to spend time with it. 
Forest School promotes risk-taking, but also places huge importance on safety - the idea that we discuss with the children is the benefit of the risk and how we can mitigate danger. Because of this, we have set 'boundaries' rather than rules, that children are expected to remember, respect, and follow. Some of these boundaries are around things such as tree-climbing, using tools, and making fires. 


Having trained with Archimedes, we follow the C's (Consciousness, Control, Catalyst, Community, Compassion, Companionship) and Sarah Blackwell's Growth Cycle (Biology, Boundaries, Belonging, Belief, Brilliance).

As well as building a stronger connection with nature, we also look at the holistic development of children. Because of this, our sessions are child-centred and we consider ourselves 'facilitators' rather than 'teachers'.

Sessions are built around the interests and development of the children rather than aiming towards a particular target - the growth during the process of an experience is the aim, not the outcome. We also use the terminology of 'experience' or 'opportunity' rather than 'activity' to reflect this. 

    Heather Perry       Get Lost in the Forest