Forest school is an inspirational education approach to learning (based on a Scandinavian model) and finding one’s self. A way of removing the four walls to connect with nature. Regular woodland experiences with no borders, just horizons and only freedom, together with a holistic approach to learning help with the development of the ‘whole’ child. In an environment where there are no ability groups, no discrimination, no written tests or pressures; only tools, exploring, taking risks and at the end of the day being covered in mud. Forest school actually helps children identify their strengths by exploring their talents. Adults are there to facilitate a process of ‘how’ children can learn rather than ‘what’ they can learn. The children then grow their skills of resilience, confidence, self-esteem, imagination and independence over a period of time instead of following the same routines and constraints of the institutionalised classroom lesson plans. The image of the ‘Fire’ at Forest School reminds us that the ignition needed to explore greater things is fuelled by the spark that is given to the mind.
M. Waterworth 2019