Higher Openshaw Community School

Together We Learn

0161 223 3549


Saunton Road, Openshaw, Manchester M11 1AJ

Please Scroll Down

Forest School

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an outdoor education process that is holistic and learner-led. It allows children to develop themselves through healthy engagement with risk, problem-solving and self-discovery, all within a natural environment in a hands-on and thoughtful manner. 

All the children in our school will have the opportunity to attend forest school for a minimum of a full half term over the course of the year. 


Forest School Ethos and Principles 

The vision of Forest School is to enable each participant to have the opportunity to develop themselves in an inquisitive manner and have a positive relationship with the natural world. Forest School places an emphasis on self-reflection, which equips learners with emotional and social skills that can stay with them into adulthood. Embedded within Forest School is an awareness and appreciation of the natural world. Sessions take place in a natural environment  enabling and encouraging use and interaction with natural materials in activities. The outdoor environment is key to providing a different situation for children, where the space is contained but not constrained.


Why do we run Forest School sessions at our school? 

Case studies have shown children can:

  • Develop self-regulation skills.
  • Cope with and learn from failure.
  • Build resilience (the skill of coping with risk and failure).
  • Gain a sense of achievement.
  • Increase motivation and concentration.
  • Improve problem solving.
  • Expand their vocabulary and communication skills.
  • Feel empowered and have new perspectives.
  • Build positive relationships with adults and peers.
  • Have overall improved wellbeing and mental health

How does Forest School work at Higher Openshaw Community School?

Firstly risk assessments are always in place and regularly reviewed for all activities.

Ratio of staff to children is always carefully considered, including a qualified session leader.

  • Every child gets to experience Forest School at least for one half term per academic year.
  • We currently run 6 sessions over 2 days.
  • We also run 2 therapeutic sessions a week.
  • Our long term aim is to offer sessions in the holidays and family sessions at weekends.

If you’d like to know more about our Forest School, call in at the school office or speak to Mr Thackway.


Within reason, we aim to take the children out in all weathers! Please ensure your child arrives at the sessions suitably dressed. We do have waterproofs and wellies availlable to borrow in school.