Forest Schools Approach to Learning

The Pendlebury Centre has access to Forest Schools sessions on a regular basis.

Forest Schools is an approach to learning that takes students out of the traditional classroom setting and into local natural environments. The initiative originates in Scandinavia, based on the premise of increasing young people’s experience, and resultant understanding, of natural environments.

During Forest Schools sessions, students work with our accredited Forest Schools tutor, Mrs Waters, on a range of activities, including:

  • Safe use of tools
  • Making and maintaining a campfire suitable for cooking
  • Competitive Challenges – treasure hunts, making dens etc.
  • Team games
  • Storytelling
  • Nature-based art


Forest School has an emotional-social aspect and a direct relevance to students in their journey of return to a mainstream education setting:

  • Students are given opportunities to try out and succeed at new challenges.
  • Many of the activities involve research and problem-solving – students are encouraged to investigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them.
  • A strong emphasis is placed on teamwork and communication.
  • Uses of tools and the campfire setting involve implicit mentoring around the purpose and positive benefits of rules and structure.
  • Each activity involves students taking responsibility for assessing and managing risk, with supervision and guidance from adults.

Students have the opportunity to keep a portfolio of their time at Forest Schools which helps them reflect on and celebrate their achievements.


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