FS programmes are structured to allow time for free play, exploration and social interaction. Forest School leaders from a playwork background are able to observe and support a diverse range of play opportunities within the context of a Forest School session.

“The Welsh Assembly Government believes that Play is the elemental learning process by which humankind has developed”

Play Policy Implementation Plan
DfTE Information Document No: 002-06, February 2006

Benefits of playing at Forest School :

  • Forest School offers opportunities to explore rich, diverse natural play environments
  • Participants experience challenge and develop self awareness in managing risk according to ability and confidence
  • Child-led play at the child’s pace

The WAG Play Policy commends Forest Schools to other bodies as an exemplar, providing an important contribution to the development of provision to meet children’s play needs throughout Wales. It notes that Forest Schools are creating “natural spaces that provide children with a rich play environment”, … are “supporting the development of training to better enable school staff to recognise and understand the value of play as children’s self directed learning, and how they as adults might better facilitate that play in school play time”, … and are providing opportunities for children to experience risk taking within a managed environment.

play-tm-2“When we saw the snow we abandoned our plans… these are children who have never seen snow or a hill, children who rarely spend free time outside at all….

The children played all day today. It was what they needed to do”

Pam White, FSL, Ysgol Tir Morfa, Rhyl

“All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.”

Playwork Principle One, Play Wales

In order to encourage more awareness of the benefits of play, FSW offers play training as CPD, exploring play theory and effective practice in the context of Forest School.