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Forest School

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by hayleyhayle, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Hello everybody

    I don't know whether anybody can help me at all please? I am currently doing a Foundation Degree in Early Years and need to write an essay of my own choosing in relation to any current early years issues.

    I have chosen the title "Is Forest School beneficial to ALL children?".

    Now, I know all the advantages regarding behaviour, self esteem, confidence etc etc, but what I really need is some case studies/examples or theorists' views that it is not beneficial to ALL children which I am finding very hard to obtain.

    I know that some people will disagree with this, but from my own experience of attending Forest School (7 years), there have been 3 children who did not benefit at all. One of them positively hated it and used to try to make herself ill so that she did not have to attend. Another child was influenced by her parents' view and did not enjoy attending as she was too worried about getting her clothes muddy and the third child was a little girl with Downs' Syndrome who could not regulate her own body temperature, so it was detrimental to her health to attend during the winter months.

    What is everybody else's view on this please?

    Many thanks x
  2. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    We had one boy (in Foundation) who hated Forest School despite loving outdoor play. He had some issues with behaviour/following instructions and just found it too diffcult to behave properly when given a bit more freedom. He would either hide in the toilets before going outside or once outside would ask to come back inside to the toilet and then take as long as possible.
    The rest of the class loved it though, even the girliest girls who hated mud and icky things... Us adults loved it too!

  3. oohh how far in are you? I'd advise changing your question!
    You will find it really difficult to find any literature that is 'against' forest school. I did an essay on forest school a while ago and whilst there were (obviously) reams of studies on the benefits I could find <u>nothing</u> negative <u>anywhere.</u> Anything you do find like the case studies you have mentioned and the one above will be purely anecdotal and could easily be argued against e.g. if the little girl was wrapped up warmly/attended f.s in the spring she would have gained alot from it. Or if the little boy was given the opportunity to have a longer f.s programme tailored to helping him to access the 'freedom' in an appropriate way then he too would have gained a lot.
    If it's too late to turn back then I'd advise looking at the only 'negative' spin I can think of which is that the true forest school ethos as found in Denmark is in danger of being lost as we take it on in England and water it down/mesh it with our curriculum. What I mean is that some f.s sessions in the UK can be very adult led rather than being child led and flexible. Maybe you could look into that?
    Good luck [​IMG]
  4. Thanks rosiecg and welliegirl for your contributions. I have not started the essay yet, I am just in the preliminary planning stage. I think you are right though welliegirl, I am finding it very hard to find any written evidence about this. I did want to write about Forest Schools though, so I might either change it to helping children with EAL or the suggestion that you gave above.

    Many thanks for this idea. xxx
  5. HI
    I realise it was some time ago but I wondered how you got on with your research?
    I really value forest school and am considering trying to find any negatives there might be. I am struggling and would be really grateful if you could share you outcomes with me.

    Many Thanks


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