Forest School

"Forest school is playing, learning, exploring and risk taking in an outdoor environment" 

Meet our Forest School team!

River Raven

Hello, I am the Forest School Lead here at Castle Hill School. I have been leading Forest School for the last 4 years and I can honestly say it is the best job ever! I have always enjoyed walks in the countryside and exploring the outdoors, even on the coldest, wettest of days you will find me outside splashing in puddles. My favourite part of Forest School is sitting around the campfire enjoying a toasted marshmallow! 

Rainbow Rachel

I have been teaching Forest School for many years now and I LOVE IT! I enjoy exploring the wonders of nature, being creative with anything I can find and cooking yummy treats on the fire!  I have recently set up Little Forest School and Nature Tots Messy Play sessions for pre-school children. It has been so much fun using my early years experience to provide a fun place to play

Reindeer Roo

Reindeer Roo has been a Beaver/Cub Scout leader for the last 8 years and loves putting the out in scOUTing!! She has supported us for the past year and she enjoys building anything and everything and loves a bit of bug hunting, we bet you can’t find a bug that will make her go ‘urghh’! Roo also enjoys cooking on (and singing around!) the campfire both at home and at Scouts and hopes to bring along some new ideas to the Forest School at Castle Hill.

What happens at Forest School?

The Forest School ethos aims to promote childrens’ confidence, social skills, sense of self-worth and emotional well-being in an outdoors environment. 

As part of the school curriculum, all children will be participating in Forest Schools at certain points throughout the school year.

Forest School promotes learning through play and allows the child to develop their imagination, learn resilience and resourcefulness, and how to appropriately self-manage risk. These sessions are always child led (to foster independence), long term (to build trust and relationships) and outside (to gain the many physical and emotional benefits from being in nature).

Examples of the things that the children might participate in include: den building, cutting firewood and fire building, crafts such as dream catchers or whistles, tying knots, making rope swings, flora and fauna ID as well as stories and cooking food on the fire.

All activities are risk assessed and the children are taught how to use all tools safely and appropriately. There are also strict rules around the campfire and an adult is always present whilst the fire is lit.

Scroll down to see some activities you could try at home.

Forest School clothing.pdf

What should my child wear?

We go outside in all weather conditions and it is often unpredictable. Many children find it very cold, muddy and wet as they spend either the whole morning or whole afternoon outside for their sessions. 

For Forest School your child should come to school dressed in a black tracksuit with appropriate underlayers for the season. Thermal long sleeve tops/trousers are great underlayers (River Raven wears 4 layers in the winter and 2 pairs of thermal socks!).

Your child should then bring a warm, waterproof coat and waterproof trousers (ski/salopette style are ideal), a spare pair of thick warm socks (no trainer socks or thin ankle socks), a change of footwear (snow boots/wellies) and gloves/scarves/hats. Your child will need these clothes each week of the term that their house is participating in Forest Schools. Jeans, sandals, shorts, strappy tops are not allowed to be worn.

When will my child be doing Forest School?

All children will participate in Forest School for two separate half terms throughout the year. They will have 1 session a week during that half term. Please see year group timetables for further information about when your child will experience Forest School.

Timetables can be found here - Term dates and the school day.

Little Forest School and Nature Tots Messy Play sessions

Come and join us for an exciting opportunity to experience weekly Forest school sessions at either our Little Forest School or Nature Tots Messy play sessions. These parent and child sessions will give you a fun introduction to the principles of Forest school whilst learning how to explore the nature around us. Get in touch for more details.

Rainbow Rachel shares the importance of sensory play:

Sensory play is play that stimulates any of a child’s senses, builds cognitive skills and influences how your child learns about their world. Sensory play encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem solving and creativity. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain and encourages development of language and motor skills. Nature can often be your best friend when it comes to sensory play!

River Raven demonstrates some Forest School activities to try at home.

Reef Knot.mp4
Gods Eye.mp4
Nature Creatures.mp4
Clove Hitch Knot.mp4
Mini Ropeswing.mp4
Flower Hearts.mp4
Happa Zome.mp4

What we get up to at Forest School at Castle Hill:

Whole School Forest School Overview

FS year plan of work.docx

Please contact Jo Raven-Lloyd or Rachel Johnson to find out more about our Forest School