Horringer Forest School


At Horringer Forest School we create opportunities for children to immerse themselves in our safe woodland environment: where we;

Inspire learners to develop their personal, social and emotional skills; through taking risks, making choices and initiating hands on learning experiences


Enable children to create long term memories, become successful learners and grow as unique individuals.

Forest School Sessions

making a fire at horringer forest school Horringer Forest School sessions begin with a welcome into the woodland by a gathering around the sitting circle.

The Forest School leader will talk to the children about keeping safe and staying within the boundaries. The activities, tools and tool procedures are introduced for the session.

The children have the opportunity to participate in the planned tasks, as well as initiating their own child-led learning activities. Activities may include: den building, wild art and crafts, low ropes and balance bridges, digging and mud sculpting, and nature hunts.

The children will also play games and enjoy a snack in the woodland. There will be time to reflect, to share what they have learnt and to suggest what they would like to do in the next session.

At Forest School we use tools (for example; vegetable peelers, mallets) to develop the children’s skills and enhance their experiences. Each tool is introduced with a tool safety procedure; to ensure all children and adults remain safe. Tools must be used within the designated ‘safe tool’ area under adult supervision.

Information for Parents/Carers

Who runs Horringer Forest School?

The Horringer Forest School programme is run by Rebecca Dodman, our Level 3 trained Forest School Leader with the support of Mel Hyde and Michelle Hempsted. Eight children are selected to participate in the programme each half term. The group is selected on a rota basis to ensure every child within the school has an opportunity to experience Forest School. The sessions take place regularly on Tuesday mornings for 2 hours in the Pre-School Copse or Wildlife Area within the school grounds; enabling learners to develop relationships with the woodland and the natural world.

Each Forest School session encompasses the child-centred, learner-led approach that is responsive to the needs and interests of the individuals. Role play and child-initiated activities are an integral part of the Forest School process. Observations and reflective practice feature in each session to ensure achievements are celebrated and next steps are identified.

How do we keep the children safe at Forest School?

Rebecca dolman leads the horringer forest schoolRebecca Dodman is a qualified primary teacher and Level 3 Forest School Leader. She has recently completed a two day outdoor first aid training course. Mel Hyde and Michelle Hempsted are Level 3 NVQ Childcare Practitioners; they are also qualified to administer first aid.

The Forest School Site (copse and wildlife area) has been carefully assessed and the children will be given clear boundaries and instructions, to ensure they can take risks within a safe woodland environment. The children will be supervised throughout the session with a high ratio of adults to children (3:8).

What should they wear?

It is very important that the children are dressed appropriately for each Forest School session, in order for them to enjoy the experience and opportunities it provides.

Children should come into school wearing their old clothes, with their additional Forest School kit packed in a bag to put on after registration. The kit identified below, will help protect them from the elements and risk of harm. The two lists state the clothes that must be labelled, and worn/brought with each child to every session:

Winter Clothing

  • Waterproof coat
  • Waterproof trousers that are warm and comfortable
  • Wellington boots
  • Warm hat, scarf and gloves
  • Warm trousers
  • Long-sleeved jumper or fleece
  • Long-sleeved top
  • Vest and/or t-shirt
  • Thick socks – thermal if possible or two pairs of cotton socks

Summer Clothing

  • Waterproof coat and waterproof trousers in bag
  • Walking boots, trainers or wellington boots (sandals are not suitable)
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Long-sleeved top or light shirt (to protect shoulders and arms from the sun and insects)
  • Light trousers (shorts/skirts are not suitable)

What if it’s raining?

There is no poor weather, only poor clothing! We will participate in Forest School in all elements, rain, snow, sun… Unless the weather conditions deteriorate and become hazardous; such as thunderstorms or very high winds, we will be outside. Therefore, it is very important your child is dressed appropriately.

View/download parental permission form as .pdf »


If you’d like any more information about Forest School opportunities at Horringer Pre School, please get in touch »