Drake Primary School and Little Pirates Child Care

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Forest School

We are an endorsed provider of Forest Schools and have received our Platinum Certificate from the Woodland Trust School Awards

The wonder of our Forest School

What is Forest Schools?


The Forest School Ethos at Drake


Forest Schools is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. Children engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year and in almost all weathers.

Children work with tools, they play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world. The Forest School concept originates in Denmark, originally aimed at preschool children, where it was found that children who had attended Forest Schools then arrived at school with strong social and communication skills, having the ability to work in groups effectively, generally had high self-esteem and a confidence in their own abilities. These foundations helped them to raise their academic achievements. At Drake Primary, we currently provide Forest Schools for Reception, Key stage one and Key stage two children (R to year 6) to compliment and extend the curriculum.


Principles of our Forest Schools


Our Forest Schools is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education. Thousands of trained practitioners share the principles across Norfolk, the UK and beyond. Forest Schools at Drake is


  • A long-term process or regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaption and review links each session.
  • Takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • Uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  • Aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • Offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • Run by qualified Forest Schools practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.


Children who take part in Forest Schools are seen as


  • Equal, unique and valuable
  • Competent to explore and discover
  • Entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
  • Entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
  • Entitled to experience regular success
  • Entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
  • Entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world.


Forest Schools is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. At Drake we


  • Develop personal and social skills
  • Work through practical problems and challenges
  • Use tools to create, build or manage
  • Discover how they learn best
  • Pursue knowledge that interests them
  • Learn how to manage failures
  • Build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk
  • Develop practical skills
  • Understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle
  • Explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth
  • Regularly experience achievement and success
  • Reflect on learning and experiences
  • Develop their language and communication skills
  • Improve physical motor skills
  • Become more motivated
  • Improve their concentration skills

Ringing 7 Great Tit chicks with the BTO

Norfolk Forest Schools documents

Our New Forest Schools Site April 2023

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - How connecting with nature benefits our mental health

Tree Planting September 2022



“Forest school has been a great experience for my daughter, since doing forest school regularly she has become more confident getting dirty and holding insects, she willingly picks them up now. “ Year 2 parent.


“Being a volunteer at Forest School I have seen first hand how wonderful it really is! Seeing the children have the freedom in an outside setting to learn through play. Them being able to socialise with others outside while building and developing their confidence. You can see they appreciate their surroundings and the nature life, whilst discovering and learning new things. Watching the childrens faces when they discover and learn exciting new things is very heartwarming“ Volunteer.


“I love that my child gets to attend forest school, being able to have this to experience within school I believe is very beneficial. Being outside in the fresh air surrounded by the outdoors learning new things. Being able to make their own choices in the setting that they wouldn't as such in a teacher lead classroom environment. Who doesn't like jumping in muddy puddles or making mud pie cakes! Coming home with mud on their faces and wellies you can tell it's been a great day! Even when they bring home their forest school creation too! “ Year 1 parent.


“ I've really enjoyed volunteering with forest school this term. Both my children have attended in their years at Drake, and have talked about it with great enthusiasm. As a parent volunteer, it's been wonderful to get involved. Watching the children's confidence grow and enabling them to experiment and learn about the environment around them.“ Year 4 parent and volunteer.


“I have really enjoyed watching the children exploring the forest school setting. Seeing them use their imagination to create games and activities using natural resources. They have all gained confidence and independence while exploring the great outdoors.“ Volunteer.


An introduction to Forest Schools

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Activities at Forest School

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Forest School and the curriculum

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Exploring mud

Forest Schools and the curriculum - Child Led

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Design Technology, food technology and the Arts at Forest Schools

DT and History Year 3 Autumn 2 2023

Role Play and Imaginative Play


Getting to know our Local Forest History

Risk Assessments and Procedures