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Cockshutt CE Primary School & Nursery

Forest School

The children made magical potions.

We had great fun exploring colour mixing in the forest by making a tee-pee.

Forest School sessions take place in the outdoor environment and are seen as a way of getting children outdoors and in touch with nature.  Forest School is held over a long period of time and is about child-centred  learning and engagement with the natural world.  It focuses on children being guided by their own curiosity rather than completing tasks set by the teacher.  They learn through play and discovery, collaboration and risk taking eg. fire lighting and using knives.


There are elements of the curriculum that are well suited to be covered in Forest School such as habitats, weather, structures, plant and tree identification, life cycle of plants.  Forest School also gives the children a wonderful opportunity to use spoken language and their imagination using natural materials.

Autumn days.

Messy play.

Forest School fun!

How to tie a reef knot.

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Oak Class Learning To Tie A Reef Knot.

Testing the strength of a reef knot.

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Ash Class Making A Home For A Elf .

Chestnut Class Exploring At Forest School.

One rainy day we went on a scavenger hunt.

Den building and exploring.

Identifying the trees at forest school.

Making a river.

Mud mud glorious mud .

We did a Forest School quiz!

Using the knots we have learned .

Chestnut Class Enjoying World Book Day Forest School.

We made full-size teepees!

We studied British snakes...

Indoor session a chance to practice making teepees.

We went on a scavenger hunt for adjectives

Oak class first session 2020.

The children had a fantastic first session of 2020.

Den building and transporting wood and tyres not to mention lots of mud.

Feeling festive.

The children decorated their cups ready for a special treat to warm them up .

Making Christmas decorations

Using natural materials to create a Christmas decoration.

Forest school has been defined as "an inspirational process that offers children and young people regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment". 

We are a rural school with an abundance of outside space. Our Forest School lead (Mrs Tina Sobczak) is a qualified Level Three Forest school instructor with a Forest School First Aid qualification. We offer opportunities to access the outdoor from the moment children can stand.  Please have a look at our ‘what’s on’ page if you would like to access our Toddler and Preschooler sessions. 


Mrs Sobczak is supported by Kate Long who inspires children to appreciate their diverse environment and express their ideas through outdoor writing and study. 


We regularly use our pupil voice to develop the outdoor area.

Pupil Voice Date complete and further action 
Forest school shelter

August 2019 - Thank you to the PTA who funded this along

with a generous donation by the Co-op in Ellesmere and 

sponsorship from our Perseverance Journey Day 2019. 

Water Supply  In place August 2019 along with shelter. 

Continually updated.  The pathways are created regularly

through by our groundsman. 

Rope swings/obstacles Large rope in place for balance work and team building. 
Better fencing

Tom Brannigan (Natural England) has planted 20 small hedges 

with the help from year 5/6 as part of our ENHANCE project for

the Year of Green Action.  This will need developing over the 

years to come. 

Wood workshop

Pupil use of tools is being developed as a long term project

to enable pupil to have a wood station where they have the 

knowledge and skills to work safely.

Mud tables

A generous donation of granite work surfaces from a local family

have been used to create a range of table of differing heights

making the area accessible for all. 

Pallet chairs  
Develop the nature area 

This could be a pond or a wood storage area which could provide

a home for a variety of wildlife, away from the main forest school 

area.  To be developed 2020. 



Pupil voice and interests are also used to plan the sessions, please see photos and annotations for evidence of pupil led learning. 

Using tools