Forest Schools Education (N.D) states the philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals through an educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment.
Forest School Association (2016) notes that a Forest School offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment, it is a specialised learning approach that sits within the wider context of outdoor education.
Providing this prospect to children can help develop their skills in becoming:
- equal, unique and valuable
- competent to explore & discover
- experience appropriate risk and challenge
- choose, initiate and drive their own learning
- develop strong positive relationships with others and nature
Forest School Association (2016)
It has been suggested by Forest Research (N.D) that if children are able to learn and develop through Forest School it will help their:
- social skills
- motivation and concentration
- physical skills
- knowledge and understanding
The forest school helps children achieve these 5 key steps and skills quicker and deeper than in a classroom
- Self awareness
- Self regulation
- Self motivation
- Social skills
Constable, K. (2012) suggests the theory behind using the outdoors as a learning experience started and were embedded a long time ago. The importance of children having opportunities to explore and discover freely helps develop independence and creativity. The key theorists that strongly believe the importance and benefits of outdoor learning for children are:
- Friedrich Froebel (1782 – 1852)
- Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952)
- Rudolph Steiner (1861 – 1925)
Constable, K. (2012) The Outdoor Classroom Ages 3 – 7. Oxon: Routledge.