Arkholme Church of England Primary School

What is Forest Schools?

Forest schools is based on practise in Scandinavia that considers children’s contact with nature to be extremely important. It was an idea that was developed in the 1950s and focused to teaching children about the natural world at a young age. This ethos was introduced into Britain in the 1990s and is now becoming more widespread. The children will learn to work as part of a team and we hope that the children’s self esteem will grow as a result of taking part in forest schools.

Who will run the forest school sessions?

Mrs. Ingram and Mrs. Muckalt are both trained level 3 forest school leaders. Every session will be run by either Mrs. Ingram or Mrs. Muckalt and sometimes both! Other adults will include teaching assistants from school and parent helpers who will be DBS checked. If you would like to volunteer please speak to Mrs. Muckalt, this is very much appreciated.

Where will the Forest school sessions take place?

Reception and Nursey children walk to the wooded area on the Village Hall field for their Forest School sessions. Mr and Mrs Hayton have very kindly allowed us to use an area of their woods for our Key Stage 1&2 forest schools sessions. This area is a short walk from school up a track into the woodland. The woodland consists of a range of trees including birch, oak and beech. On the forest floor there are ferns and rhododendrons. The boundaries of our area will be clearly marked for the children and adults will be placed to ensure all children can be seen.


School has invested in water proof jackets and trousers to keep the children dry, however it would be great if you could send your child in with a warm jumper and welly boots.

Getting there

You will be informed of the day your child will be attending Forest School. Children will walk along the pavement, following the public footpath through to the woodland at Bainsbeck.

What will the children do during forest school sessions?

Children will gradually build up to different activities. The ethos of forest schools is that it is very much child led so we will be observing the children very closely to enable us to plan from their needs. Some of the activities may include:
• Mud faces
• Shelter building
• Exploring the woodland
• Forest floor art
• Music
• Collecting fire wood
• Using basic tools under supervision
• Using sticks for different purposes
• Playing team games
• Cooking and eating snacks on the camp fire
• Nature walks

About each session

Children will be in the Forest for about an hour and a half each time. The session usually starts with an opening discussion around the fire circle. Then the activities available are explained and Children then choose what they would like to do and the session closes with a reflection of what we have learnt usually around the fire circle.

How are children kept safe?

Mrs Ingram and Mrs Muckalt are both trained in outdoor first aid. Staff will carry fully charged mobile phones. In the event of more serious accident the school and parents will be contacted in line with the schools accident and emergency procedures. There is a high ratio of adults in Forest School. Children are shown the boundaries of the outdoor learning space and are given detailed training on all activities.

How can you help?

You will need to sign a consent form to allow your child to attend. Try to send them in clothing appropriate to the weather. If you would like to come to help at Forest School please speak to Mrs Muckalt.


Forest School will only be cancelled in extreme weather if the site is deemed unsafe or if there are not enough adults to accompany the children.


Behaviour will be dealt with in line with the schools Behaviour Management Policy. However, we reserve the right to exclude a child from attending Forest School if their behaviour is dangerous to themselves or anyone.