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Forest School South Lee Prep School, Bury St Edmunds

Originating in Scandinavia, the concept of Forest School is becoming more popular in UK schools. South Lee has a well-established Forest School, as we see the huge benefits children gain from learning in nature. Apart from being in the fresh air, Forest School develops skills in practical building, problem-solving and collaboration, as well as fostering a deeper understanding of nature, eco-systems and sustainability. We have a large, dedicated Forest School space with three areas and two outdoor classrooms. Unlike most other schools, children benefit from Forest School the whole way through from Nursery to Year 8.

Forest School aims to encourage and inspire children of all ages through positive outdoor experiences. During the Forest School sessions children are given time, space and freedom to explore using all their senses.


These sessions aim to develop:

  • Self-awareness

  • Self-regulation

  • Self-initiated play

  • Intrinsic motivation

  • Empathy

  • Communication skills

  • Independence

  • A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence


All Forest School activities will be held within school grounds, in our well established safe woodland area by a qualified Forest School leader. Activities include making ‘Muddy Faces’, playing in the ‘Mud Kitchen’ and making ‘Animal Shelters’.


All sessions are tailored to each groups’ needs and interests.

Many areas of the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ will be covered in these sessions, as they aim to enhance ALL areas of development, whilst providing new and exciting learning opportunities.

Children will be given the freedom to explore, build concepts, build structures, learn about woodland structures and animal habitats, whilst under scrupulous supervision.

Simple tools will be introduced gradually to the children to assist their learning and creativity. A structured safety base will be determined, which each child will become familiar with.


Daily risk assessments are carried out on our woodlands, to ensure maximum safety for all children.

Safety briefs will occur at the beginning of each session, to ensure each child is aware of the boundaries set by the group leader.

Forest School activities will run throughout the year, and will only be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. In the unfortunate event of this happening, appropriate activities relating to Forest School will be carried out within the classroom environment.


Forest School sessions will only be cancelled in the event of extreme weather conditions. Therefore on rainy days, children may get a little dirty during the process of becoming little explorers!

South Lee Nursery provides each child with an ‘All Weather Suit’. These suits are fully waterproof and will protect from dirt, allowing each child to be enriched by their Forest School experience, without the worry of getting wet or dirty.

We ask, that children bring in a pair of Wellington boots at the beginning of the school year (to remain at Nursery), as we access the woodlands on a daily basis, not only for planned Forest School activities.

We will also be utilising our wonderful woodlands on cold days, therefore we ask that each child brings in a tracksuit to put on, underneath their ‘All Weather Suits’, to stay as warm as possible.

During the cold, winter months, we also highly recommend hats, gloves and scarves.

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