Forest School at Wessington Primary

Welcome to our Forest School page!  

Scroll down to see examples of our children enjoying their time in Forest School as well as our policies and information.

We LOVE our Forest School in Wessington!

We use it to teach everything from team work to maths and our teachers love the way it engages our pupils in their learning in such a practical way. We have our trained forest school leader Mrs Burnikell who works with teachers to plan and help deliver their sessions as well as leading her own.

Taken from our Forest School Policy:


Forest School is a unique method of outdoor education that allows children to develop confidence, independence, self-esteem and awareness and knowledge of the natural environment.

This is achieved by setting small achievable tasks. The child is never put in a position where he/she will fail so success is attained. It is a child centred and child led programme that provides the opportunity for the children to use their personal learning style to complete their chosen tasks.

Our forest school was set up in 2016 and is based on the school grounds; it is an on-going development, with children helping to establish it. Our forest school consists of an outside classroom, a tool shed, two shelters and a toilet. In the grounds it has an allotment, orchard, bird hide, wooden art dome, willow structures, outdoor kitchen, woods and lots of natural plants, trees and animal habitats.

We aim to give all learners a shared understanding of a forest/natural environment. With regular opportunities we aim to provide the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. Through hands on learning experiences in a natural environment it will enable children to be self – motivated, courageous, considerate and thus setting them up for life – long learning. 

At forest school we aim to: 

  • Fulfil every child’s potential.
  • Promote a secure, exciting and fascinating learning environment through child led initiatives.
  • Promote self – esteem.
  • Promote positive behaviour to ensure the safe running of forest school sessions by setting agreed rules and rituals between adults and children.
  • Link experiences at forest school to home and education.
  • To develop where appropriate the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and spiritual aspects of the learner through consistent observations and evaluation.
  • For all participants to be viewed as unique, equal and valuable.
  • Allow learners to explore and discover in their own learning style and at their own pace.
  • Encourage learners to experience appropriate risk and challenge through group discussions and sharing ideas.
  • Encourage learners to initiate and drive their own learning and development.
  • Support learners to experience regular success by setting achievable tasks to reflect their abilities.
  • Inspire learners to develop positive relationships with their peers through group discussions, reflections, social conversations and team work.
  • Develop a strong, positive relationship with the natural world.

Here’s some examples of our younger children enjoying their time in our Forest School:

Reception Class planting trees in Forest School

Mastering knots in Forest School

Mastering knots in Forest School 2

Whittling willow in Forest School


Click here to visit our Forest School Photos page for more examples of children enjoying their time in Forest School.