Tickhill St Mary'sCofE Primary and Nursery School

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Forest School at St Mary's


The Forest School programme is an innovative approach to outdoor play and education, with a philosophy encouraging and inspiring children through positive outdoor experiences.

Forest School is a bespoke process which offers all learners frequent opportunities to achieve and succeed through hands on experiences in a woodland setting.  The programme is a bespoke learning approach that sits within and compliments a wider curriculum.

In participating in motivating, engaging and achievable tasks each child has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivational, emotional and social skills.  With the focus on holistic development throughout the programme this self-awareness can be developed to reach each child’s potential.

Evidence has shown Forest Schools have proved a success with children and young people who visit the same woodland site regularly and through these experiences learn about the natural environment, how to manage their own risks and develop their own initiative to problem solve and cooperate with others.  It is these experiences and opportunities we at Tickhill St Mary’s aim to provide our children with.

Forest School provides children and young people a grass roots appreciation and respect for the outdoor environment, giving learners the opportunity to engage with a rich woodland, helping them build confidence, resilience and the confidence to explore their own curiosities.


The Forest School programme is run throughout the year, heading into our onsite setting in all weathers.  Children in Reception and KS1 enjoy a weekly experience which may include such activities such as building shelters, woodland craftwork, telling stories, cooking over fires, hunting for minibeasts and making mud pies. Children in KS2 follow a rota and will participate for part of the year. As the programme develops, woodland tools are introduced to extend learning and provide new opportunities for risk management. All of our Forest School sessions are lead and risk assessed by our qualified staff member.


The Tickhill St Mary’s Forest School programme aims to develop;

·        Self-awareness and regulation

·        Self-motivation

·        Empathy

·        Positive social communication

·        Problem solving

·        Independence

·        Positive mental health and confidence

Our ethos here helps create learning opportunities for children and young people where deep rooted independent learning is common place, putting the children at the centre of their own learning experience.

Whole School Forest School Overview