Forest School


Forest School

Walton Priory has ten acres of grounds which house several areas of woodland, ponds, orchard and wildlife areas. Our Forest School is on site. Currently, children study Forest School for eight weeks in Years 6 and then another eight weeks in year 7. We have four trained and accredited Forest School Leaders on our teaching staff.

Our main aim in Forest Schools is for students to foster a respect and appreciation of the natural environment that surrounds them, allowing them to take on a shared ownership of our Forest School site and the greater environment that it impacts. Alongside thinking about sustainability and the way we protect and maintain the environment Forest School has a significant impact on the holistic development of all children. We aim to further develop the curiosity that is built inside the classroom, increasing the self-esteem and confidence of all demographics of children. Our final aim is to ensure that children are exposed to a dynamic environment where they must identify, manage and mitigate their own levels of risk and make decisions regarding their own and others safety.



In Year 6 we focus on introducing students to a woodland environment in which they might not have experienced before. We explore the dangers and reward of risk, and how it can be managed to be exciting. Basic identification skills are grasped and complex wildlife facts are learned. We then look at basic shelter structures and how we can build them using both natural and artificial materials. Within this unit there is a focus on the use of deadwood and not damaged living trees or damaging established habitats. We learn a variety of basic knots and the more confident children may want to include them in their outcomes. We begin the fire unit with the essential safety and management procedures, as well as how to build a successful fire in all conditions. Students learn how to use a flint and steel effectively and the structure of fuel required to be successful. They apply these skills to boil water in a storm kettle.

In Year 7 we look at the foundation of skills we developed in Year 6 and how we can support, enthuse and challenge our children further. We look at identification strategies and how children can support our Forest Management plan. We look at why we need shelter and take into consideration different scenarios when choosing the most appropriate style and structure of shelter. We look at more complex knots and how knots can support both natural and artificial materials within the shelter building unit. We introduce the use of knives and how they are an essential tool in woodland management, survival and games/crafts. Students develop their own skewers, darts, pegs and spatulas to sue throughout the rest of their time in the forest. The students then move onto their fires topic where we recap all the essentials form the previous year, but the final outcome is building and sustaining an effective fire in which they can cook their own food.


Assessed daily on their level of knowledge, skill and application, but also their development in social, emotional and environmental maturity.

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