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Forest School

At St Matthew’s all our pupils benefit from Forest School and outdoor learning sessions in our dedicated forest school area within our extensive school grounds. 

Our Nursery and Reception pupils experience weekly sessions, enabling them to learn in a natural outdoor environment where they can apply skills and strengthen their learning linked to a wide range of curriculum areas. 

Our Forest School programme, led by our trained Forest School teacher encourages and inspires children to grow in confidence, independence and self-esteem, as well as develop an appreciation of the natural world which will encourage respect and responsibility for nature throughout their lives. 

We develop children's collaborative skills, self-esteem, confidence and practical skills, which they transfer into their learning in the classroom.

Our Forest School setting comprises of natural seating areas, bug hotels, swing seats, digging areas, trees and other flora, and a camp fire area and we are constantly working with the children to develop new areas and features based on their interests and desires to explore and learn more from the natural world.  

Our children learn first-hand how to care for the environment as well as enhance their emotional wellbeing, vocabulary and self-regulation. 

At St Matthews Primary School, the focus of Forest Schools is firstly, to develop children’s collaborative working skills, self-esteem, confidence and practical skills, which can then be transferred to the classroom. Secondly, to make learning practical, fun and enjoyable so that children develop an enjoyable attitude towards school and learning. Thirdly, we want to children to understand the importance of looking after our environment.


Key benefits of Forest School 

  • Learning linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage objectives and National Curriculum, depending on the age of the child 
  • Hands-on experiences providing an effective form of learning 
  • An increase in self-belief and a boost to children's self confidence 
  • Supportive of children's personal, emotional and social development 
  • Encourages informed decision-making at an early age 
  • Takes place in a safe, controlled, natural environment where children naturally learn to assess risk
  • Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy 
  • Increased communication and problem-solving skills 

How can you help at home? 

Ask your child questions about what they experienced and learnt at Forest School – let them know you are interested. 

Ensure your child is appropriately dressed for their Forest School session (school uniform on top with dark jogging bottoms, wellington boots and a coat). There is a chance your child will get muddy; this is all part of the experience and learning process and shows that your child has been hands on and enjoyed their learning experience. 

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