Early Years Forest School

The Forest School site within the grounds of Windermere School’s Elleray Campus provides a wealth of opportunities for exploration and personal development.

There are small trees and bushes to climb, magical places to hide, spaces for den building, secret passageways through shrubbery and a log circle for stories, songs, discoveries and even toasted marshmallows.

The sessions are delivered by our residential Level 3 qualified instructor. Each Forest School is unique and we have designed ours to utilise the wonderful wooded grounds of nearly 20 acres here in the Lake District.

The sessions take place either at the Forest School site or elsewhere within the grounds at the Elleray Campus, depending on the particular focus of the lesson.

Pupils from Pre-School, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 take part in weekly Forest School sessions throughout each school year. The focus is on specialised woodland activities with our youngest children, and here we start to nurture the life skills that we believe are so important in children’s education:

  • self-awareness
  • independence
  • motivation
  • decision making
  • confidence
  • social empathy.

We embrace the Forest School philosophy, which is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences.

During Forest School sessions, students learn about topics such as: how to identify local species of plant and wildlife, how to care for and conserve our environment, how to build a den, tool use (peelers, saws, flint and steel), making boats, dam building and storytelling and role play.

The Forest School site offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and personal development. Natural resources are available for mark-making, mud and water play and craft and construction activities.

The natural growth of the site offers secluded areas to play quietly as well as large open spaces for collaborative play and learning.

Child playing in the Forest School at Elleray, Windermere The students are encouraged to follow their own personal journey of development by setting a series of self-motivated and achievable goals. This helps to foster a sense of responsibility and pride in their achievements.

These classes are key for developing leadership, collaboration and cooperation as they focus on a series of linked challenges.


World School
Round Square
Sunday Times IB School of the Year
The Society of Heads
Adventure Activities Licensing Authority
British Canoeing Approved Centre
RYA Champion Club