What happens in a Forest School session?

Two children making bark rubbings in a woodlandA typical Forest School session will generally involve many different activities, some child-initiated, some adult-led.

It usually begins with the same routine, getting dressed appropriately for the weather conditions - not too hot/cold etc, and sturdy footwear, often wellies.

The group will gather at a seating circle (usually logs) and discuss what happened at the last session, what the weather is like and what they plan to do at this session.

Forest School sessions usually run for a minimum of one and a half hours, most are two hours and some last longer.

Typical Forest School activities include:

  • Building shelters and dams
  • Creating assault courses and zip wires
  • Learning to use different tools and equipment

Children also learn to identify native trees and flowers, birds, insects and woodland, which is all part of learning to respect the environment around them.


"I like it best when we make dams or shelters, especially when it's raining. We learned how to tie granny knots, a figure of eight and a slip knot." Edward, age 9

"We do team work and cooperation. Our teacher always tells us 'Keep as a team and work together.' We make fires and toast marshmallows over the embers." Ella, age 8

Activities can be very simple, or can take several weeks to complete something large scale or intricate.

Most Forest Schools have snack time, a good way to bring everyone back together to share what they've been doing. It's also a good time for a campfire.

Learning with Pearson logo

Last updated: almost 2 years ago