Forest Schools

Forest Schools delivers the curriculum in an outdoor ‘classroom’ where children are able to use all of their senses to explore and challenge their understanding. 

Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia in the 1950’s, where young people were taken into woodlands to learn about the environment in a ‘natural classroom’.  Since 1995. when Bridgewater College introduced the concept in the UK, Forest Schools has become increasingly popular as the educational potential of the ethos has been realised. OASES staff are all Level 3 Forest Schools Leaders with a wealth of Forest Schools experience and we would like to help your school experience the benefits of this recognised pedagogy too.

Forest Schools are delivered with a focus on ‘Care’... care for oneself, care for others and care for the environment.  By the end of the Forest School the children will feel more comfortable within a woodland setting and will be safer as a result.

Through OASES Forest Schools is available as individual sessions to Engage Pupils; as a Taster Day or as a Level 1, 2 and 3 accredited course to Inspire Teachers and as Forest Schools Plus.  

Forest Schools Plus will be tailored around your school's individual requirements but will typically contain:

  • Whole school CPD to introduce staff to the Forest Schools pedagogy and practices.
  • Individual teacher shadowing of Forest Schools session delivery by OASES staff (we will work with individual teachers/staff teams prior to these Forest School sessions to decide which curriculum topic should form the ‘theme’ of the session).  
  • Individual teacher support to embed Forest Schools into curriculum planning.

The beauty of Forest Schools is not just in its ability to teach the National Curriculum in an alternative manner, but in the impact it has upon a child’s wellbeing and ability to concentrate.  Forest Schools provide a learning experience that is not inhibited by walls, where children can be physical, can talk, can explore and can learn through their senses, in nature, and in collaboration with each other.  The potential activities are too numerous to mention but in recent Forest Schools the children have built shelters, created charcoal masterpieces, found dragons, mixed materials, explored, cooked marshmallows and investigated invertebrates.

The OASES Forest Schools Plus package is a great way to get your pupils active and outdoors as well as enhancing curriculum delivery.  Use your PE Premium for the package and to book one staff member onto the NOCN Level 3 Forest Schools Certificate training and OASES will support you in establishing Forest Schools in your setting and maximising it's full potential. For further information please see our Forest School+ Leaflet.

If you are interested in embedding the practices and principles of Forest Schools across your whole school please contact OASES about Forest Schools+ .


Just to let you know we had a fabulous afternoon. Thank you so much for all your efforts and support - it was totally worth it! The kids and parents had great fun and I've got to say I've had the best Monday I can remember in a very long time.  - Catchgate Primary School






Outdoor and Sustainability Education Service
The EWE Centre,
Esh Winning Primary School
The Wynds, Esh Winning,
Durham, DH7 9BE