What is Forest School?
Forest School at Painshill is an inspiring opportunity for children to reconnect with the natural world. Children will develop technical, creative and communication skills while learning about our precious natural environment, their friends and themselves. Forest School is a truly child-led, on-going process, with Adam, our qualified Forest School Leader, taking the lead from children’s ideas, interests and skills to facilitate a five-week programme of Forest School sessions. Group size is limited to 12 children per session to ensure a high adult to child supervision ratio, allowing all children and adults to become friends and so fostering learning and development at the same time as ensuring the emotional and physical wellbeing of all attendees. We can welcome groups from 4 years of age up to 12 years.
Painshill is an ideal location for Forest School with ancient woodland surrounding the purpose-built education centre. The woodland provides our learning space and learning resources, with sticks and leaves to build dens, clay and sand to make art and plenty of twigs for firewood and Greenwood for woodwork. In addition, our woodland is a great place for children to discover wildlife with logs and trees for minibeasts, as well as badgers, rabbits, deer and foxes calling the wood home. A beautiful lake and river border the woodland, with lots of wetland birds and invertebrates.
Activities and options
What we do in each session is very much dependent on the interests and skills of the children attending. This said Adam can suggest and facilitate the following Forest School activities:
- Fires and fire lighting
- Cooking and heating food
- Tool use and woodworking using a range of equipment appropriate to children’s skill and age
- Working with cord, rope and tarpaulins
- Den building
- Bug hunting
- Pond dipping
- Animal and bird tracking
- Tree and plant identifying
Taster sessions for children
1 x 2-hour taster session for up to 12 children, introducing our woodland with games and den building and fire lighting as appropriate to children.
Taster sessions for staff
1 x 2-hour taster session showcasing some of our fire lighting and tool techniques and procedures, as well as a tour of our woodland discussing wild flora and fauna for up to 6 staff.
Book a term of Forest School at Painshill
5 x 2-hour sessions throughout a school term for up to 12 children. Starting with an introductory session and moving on to a customised programme of experiences and sessions.
Book a term for a class
5 x 2-hour morning sessions and 5 x afternoon sessions. Throughout a school term for up to 12 children. Starting with an introductory session and moving on to a customised programme of experiences and sessions.