Forest School & Outdoor Learning

Forest School & Outdoor Learning

Weekly Forest School and outdoor learning for pupils in the Prep School

Ewell Castle Forest School is situated within the beautiful, mature, large walled gardens of Ewell Castle Prep School.

Our School offers timetabled Forest School and outdoor learning sessions from Reception through to Year 6.  Sessions are run by qualified Forest School Leaders, who also have many years of experience teaching in the classroom setting (this is true of Jenny Kodi, but not for me; I’m not a qualified school teacher).

Forest School sessions involve activities that children traditionally did in the freedom of the outdoors which are hard or impossible to replicate in the classroom. For example, making mud pies, building dens, bug hunting, climbing trees, getting muddy, rolling in leaves or splashing in puddles. You may have been lucky enough to have spent your own childhood this way, but regrettably, modern living does not always offer such freedoms. Weekly Forest School for our Prep School gives our pupils the opportunity to explore, climb, swing, balance, jump and stretch. In short, an opportunity for children to be children!

Additional equipment and tools can be used to help stretch children’s imaginations; for example, tarpaulin, rope, shovels and magnifying glasses. 
A typical Forest School session will shine a spotlight on a particular topic; e.g. nesting birds, scientists of the natural world, the season or an environmental concern. Inspiration for these sessions might come from news items or a date on the UK /world calendar as well as from the curriculum. 
Often, our sessions begin with an initial discussion or imparting of information. Thereafter, pupils have the freedom to make their own explorations and discoveries. Through their free play in Forest School, without realising it, children are developing effective communication, problem solving, negotiation, their ability to adapt to changing situations and understanding how to take responsibility for themselves; life skills they’ll need for adulthood. In addition, we aim to engender a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors; benefitting pupils’ health and wellbeing as well as developing a social responsibility for our environment.   

In 2023 a generous donation from the PTA enabled us to install a large weather resistant teepee within our grounds allowing for all-weather learning in the outdoors. This structure not only allows us to bring more learning into the outdoors but can also double up as Santa’s Grotto or to relocate a camp fire in wet weather!