Forest School is all about connection.
Connecting with the natural world and oneself.
At Bloo House, we have been providing outdoor learning to our pupils since 2006. Our outdoor programme plays a key role in supporting children in their naturalistic, logical, linguistic, emotional, social, interpersonal, intrapersonal and spiritual intelligences.
Bloo House is a founding member of the Forest School Association and one of the first independent schools in Surrey to become an accredited Forest School. We are actively involved in endorsing and promoting this educational approach to enable children to flourish in an outdoor environment.
What is a Forest School?
The philosophy of the Forest School movement is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long-term educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment.
Predominantly, sessions in the Surrey forest start with warm up games designed to stimulate mind, body and spirit, awakening the children’s senses. Such sensory games aid a child with their communication, listening and touch abilities and further develop a child’s naturalistic intelligence.
Based on a rich heritage of outdoor learning, the movement has its roots deep in educational thinking dating back to the 19th century and beyond. Well-known UK and European philosophers, naturalists and educators such as such as John Ruskin, Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Scout Movement), Kurt Hahn (founder of Gordonstoun School, Outward Bound and the Duke of Edinburgh Award) and Leslie Paul (founder of Woodcraft Folk in 1925) are all credited with laying the foundations for the Forest Schools we know today.
Why is a Forest School good for my child?
In the words of the Forest School Association, your child will be part of “an inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.”
Recognising the importance of children’s contact with nature, the benefits of a Forest School education are numerous and briefly include:
- Learning successes for all types of learners
- Growing self-confidence
- Development of social and communication skills
- Heightened motivation and concentration
- Developing physical skills
- Gaining knowledge, understanding and respect for our physical environment
- Increased sense of wellbeing and happiness
What will my child be doing?
At Bloo House, we take learning outdoors for part of the day. This may involve exploring woodland, collecting treasures, building a den or simply taking a classroom lesson outside.
Sessions tend to start with warm-up games designed to stimulate the mind, body and spirit, awakening the children’s senses. Such sensory games aid a child with their communication, listening and touch abilities and further develop a child’s naturalistic intelligence.
For younger children, emphasis is place on acquiring the basic understanding of nature’s building blocks and appreciating the beauty of the outdoor environment. As the children progress, they evolve their skills in art craft, orienteering, observation and construction, creating a better connection for them to the natural world.
Tools are used in a traditional woodland manner and are introduced gradually with a structured safety base that children become familiar with. The use of tools in the woods promotes trust and self-confidence within those taking part, helping to develop both gross and fine motor skills.
Forest School sessions take place on-site at Bloo House and at a number of woodland locations in the Surrey Hills, a beautiful part of England and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Take a look at our video to see outdoor learning at Bloo House in action.
Bloo House is a pioneer in Surrey’s Forest School movement. We now offer sessions to teachers and students, who wish to learn more about outdoor learning techniques or wish to introduce Forest School into their setting. See our Forest School training section for more information.
Enquire about a place for your child – complete the form below.