Forest School

Forest School at APTCOO is designed to be a learner-centred inspirational learning process, that offers

learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop their confidence and self-esteem through hands-on

learning experiences in our Woodland areas.  Our Forest School programme offers opportunities for

holistic growth through regular sessions, it is a long-term programme that supports play, exploration and

supported risk taking. It also develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired developmental

experiences in a natural outdoor setting. 


At APTCOO we are blessed with the natural beauty and resource of the Thoresby Estate in 

Nottinghamshire; our rural satellite centre Cameleon Lodge is set in a forestry block that we utilise for our

Forest School experiences. The Forest School ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners around

the world and here in the UK. Its roots reach back to the open-air culture, friluftsliv, or free air life, seen as a

way of life in Scandinavia where Forest School began. It arrived in the UK in 1993 and has grown from

strength to strength since then. 


We believe that the Forest School methodology helps and facilitates more than knowledge development,

it enables learners to develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually. We aim to

create a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to develop through experiential learning,

to try and try again until it works.  

Our approach to taking supported risks means that our learners continue to grow holistically, developing

their abilities to solve ‘live’ problems, building self-belief, resilience, and confidence. The Forest School six

key principles that shape and govern the Forest School ethos: 

  1. Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits, the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session. 

  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world. 

  3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning. 

  4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent, and creative learners. 

  5. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. 

  6. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. 

                                 Natural fence building, week by week progress; great learning and fun for all involved

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