Forest School

Bellan House pupils in Forest School
Looking for frogs - Forest School 2021
Bellan House pupil at Forest School

Oswestry School is positioned in 50 acres, the perfect place for children to explore and learn in innovative ways outside of the classroom.

Our Forest School is used by all pupils and their activities are a much-loved part of the week. Children are stimulated by the great outdoors and the physical, intellectual and emotional benefits are far-reaching.

Forest School was first established in 1993 by Bridgewater College. The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.

Forest School 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.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

One in every ten young people in England will experience poor mental health and one half of all lifelong mental health problems start before the age of fourteen. 

Regular access to Forest School is beneficial in the following ways:

  • building confidence and independence;
  • feeling empathy for others and nature;
  • physical fitness;
  • health benefits;
  • improved mental health;
  • learning by experience;
  • exposure to manageable risk; and
  • better sleep and mood.

A 2010 study from the University of Rochester found that spending time outdoors not only makes you happier, it can lead to an increased sense of vitality. It has also been found to have a calming effect on the mind, ease depression, spark creativity and improve attention and focus.

The philosophy is to encourage and inspire, through mastery of small, achievable tasks in a woodland environment, to grow in confidence and independence so that children are able to develop a sense of self-worth.
Children will acquire new skills as they are ready for them so that activities can maintain a degree of challenge and excitement, whilst remaining safe and controlled.

Forest School with Bellan House pupil

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

John Muir