Forest School

Vision and Philosophy

In St Anne’s we celebrate the uniqueness of individuals within our whole school community and empower them to achieve their dreams & aspirations.  We believe that children develop most when they are ‘learning by doing’, when they are given responsibility, work in teams, take acceptable risks and think for themselves.  Forest School builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning.

The Forest School learning environment provides opportunities for children to develop self-esteem, self-confidence, to form positive relationships with others, to develop a growing awareness of their emotional needs and the needs of others, to learn to cooperate and work with their peers and adults and develop strategies in order to take risks within the boundaries of safety. The setting allows the children to engage with the natural environment.

Forest School is about exploring and experiencing the natural world through practical activities. The children go out in all weathers, all year round, exploring and learning from the four seasons and environment changes. The children’s interest along with the varied natural resources in our woodland are used to stimulate creative thinking, problem solving and skill development, all in the guise of play. Most of our activities are child-led, but of course some activities are planned by the practitioner.

Last year we made some wonderful memories at Forest School.

Year 3/4 helped Reception create a bug hotel. It's amazing.  I wonder who will live there? 

Our campfire is the perfect place to sit around and chill with friends, whether it's a cold, frosty day, or a sunny day where you can swing in one of our hammocks.

We love to climb at Forest School, whether on our large rocks, or in our climbing tree.  It's always an adventure!

Reception love climbing and making 'fairy dens'. Of course, we had hot chocolate!

Year 3/4 this week used the axe and mallet to chop kindling, an essential skill to enable us to light a fire.

They climbed trees, made dens, fixed our rope swing and of course found a dead hedgehog! We talked about hibernation and rigor mortis, which was an unexpected topic, but one that obviously took their interest.


A frosty day found us making slides, using the flint and steel to light fires and investigating our surroundings.

We made our own tree cookies to show that we belong to Forest School. We used the hand saw and hand drill, then decorated them.

Miss Pilak modelled the 'respect position' with Rhys around the campfire. 


Today Year 3/4 had fun making dens and using their sticks as imaginary fishing rods and spears.

Year 3/4 have been setting up our 'Tool Pit', where we can safely use tools whilst at Forest School.  The bow and hand saw were used for cutting wood for our fire, which is an essential part of Forest School.  Well done!

Reception had another amazing day. They took a boundary walk, learnt the camp fire rules, collected treasures and ended the session with hot chocolate and biscuits!

This week, a group of Year 3/4 boys enjoyed a session at our Forest School.  I was overwhelmed by their ability to listen to and follow our 'fire camp' rules.  They showed great strength and determination when collecting our fire wood; and managed to achieve all five of our SCORE Values. 

Well done boys!

Reception and Nursery enjoyed a day at Forest School and are looking forward to our future sessions! 

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St Anne's Catholic Primary School
Monastery Lane, Sutton, St Helens Merseyside WA9 3SP