How to set up a Forest School
Firstly, it is useful to discuss the possibility of creating a Forest School with your colleagues, manager, head teacher, in order to include them as soon as possible in your Forest Schools journey. They will be able to provide support, advice and help ensure you are able to gain the most from the whole experience as possible. If you are working for an educational setting, you can begin to identify where you Forest Schools will provide new and important opportunities for your learners, as well as how it can contrive to initiatives and other long term goals.
To set up your own Forest Schools, you need a few things;
A Qualified Practitioner
Book your training course here to become a qualified practitioner or you can explore the training process and experience by following the link below to the training section which will give you all of the learning you need in order to be able to begin setting your Forest Schools, which then continues with support, developmental training, and consolidation to qualify you as a Forest Schools Practitioner.
Your Forest School programme will initially run from your own site, grounds, gardens or playing fields potentially if this is appropriate. This allows your learners to become comfortable with the Forest Schools outdoor approach to learning and play whilst still in their familiar surroundings. Relationships can be developed based on trust and self-awareness, these developments will facilitate the reflective learner-led approach to the outdoor curriculum that underpins the Forest School ethos.
When your group is ready you can then get to know the route to your very own special Forest School wood, which might be within walking distance or require transport. You will then have your very first session in the woodland, you will all explore your site, investigate and begin the sense of ownership and belonging, you may also consider discussing boundaries at this point both physical and behavioural.
Whether this is an already established group or one that is being created specifically for Forest Schools experiences, this group will be those who form your Forest Schools and benefit from the regular, long term experiences as a community and within a natural space.
Forest Schools Insurance
Everything you need to know about insurance can be found here
Forest Schools Funding
Everything you need to know about funding can be found here
A Forest School in practice