Forest School

With a huge passion for applying the Forest School ethos within mainstream education and engaging families with nature, Jo Liversidge can offer INSET and Forest School Taster days, enabling practitioners and school staff to explore holistic development, promoted through a multi-sensory, hands-on approach.

Nature’s Footprints can also deliver custom made sessions or longer term programmes to schools and pre-school groups, working with each setting to ensure they meet the needs of both the children and the adults.

For further details or to discuss Forest School for you school, please contact Jo on 07843 673 011,


For details of accredited Forest School training see our Forest School Training page.

What is Forest School

Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia as part of their education system. In the UK the concept placed at its core a desire to build self-esteem and independence in children and young people, through their positive outdoor experiences in nature.

Forest School is a long term programme delivered in a natural (not necessarily a Forest) environment by qualified practitioners. Each programme is continually developed to meet the needs of individuals within the group, and enables the learners to grow in confidence, skills and understanding.

Forest School is a unique and inspiring approach to outdoor learning. It encourages individuals to explore, to learn through play, at their own pace and in their own style, providing time and space to follow their own ideas and interests in a real and meaningful context.

Forest School Ethos

The philosophy of Forest School is to inspire and encourage individuals and families through positive outdoor experiences. It is complimentary, not separate to learning in a traditional classroom. Sessions are centred on and by the learners themselves, drawing on their imagination and interests.
Forest School aims to develop the learners’ personal, social and emotional skills through participation in tasks and experiences which are both motivating and achievable.

These skills include:

  • Independence
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Self-motivation
  • Self-discovery
  • Consideration, respect and responsibility for themselves, others and their environment
  • Communication skills
  • Increased self- esteem

Forest Schools are successful with individuals of all ages who visit the same site on a regular basis. They learn through play, by following their own initiative and problem solving, through communication and cooperation with others. Individuals also learn early risk management strategies and about the natural environment in all weathers. They are also provided with opportunities to use full sized tools.

Those who attend Forest School sessions have opportunities to experience different learning styles and techniques, enabling them to access learning at their own level and develop it further.

When provided with opportunities to explore their world, using all of their senses and emotions, a deeper understanding of the world and everything in it is created.