There are many different types of outdoor learning from bushcraft to gardening. Forest School is run by a qualified forest school leader and ‘offers children and young people the opportunity, over repeated visits, to engage with the rich natural diversity of the woodland environment to help build confidence, sensitivity, resilience and curiosity’ Forest School Training.
Oxfordshire Forest Schools
Here’s a round up of all the forest schools in Oxfordshire with credit for the stunning photos going to Alexandra Tandy Photography An award-winning professional family photographer, Alexandra is renowned for putting children at ease to capture fun and relaxed images. The photographs have been taken at both a Hedgehog Club and Muddy Feet forest school session.
The Hedgehog Club (Witney & Woodstock)
The Hedgehog Club runs regular weekday and school holiday sessions connecting children from 1 to 11 with nature and the outdoors. Friday term time sessions take place at Deer Park Wood in West Witney, Wednesday term time sessions happen at Blenheim Place in Woodstock and a term time forest school session runs each Tuesday at Cogges Manor Farm in Witney. For school holiday sessions, look out for the latest details on the Hedgehog Club facebook page.
Forest Tots at Hill End Centre (Oxford)
Forest School style sessions for pre-schoolers at the beautiful Hill End setting take place on Friday mornings during term time.
Oak Leaf Forest School (Wantage)
Oak Leaf Forest School offer specialist outdoor learning sessions on Mondays & Tuesdays for toddlers and pre-schoolers 0-7 years and on Tuesday afternoons for home educated children 3-11 years, in a private woodland on Ridgeway farmland just south of Wantage. They welcome parents; childcarers; childminders and nannies with their children. Children above three can attend unaccompanied.
Wild Bee Forest School (Headington, Oxford)
The Wild Bee Forest School run two weekly groups for toddlers and pre-schoolers and their parents/carers; one on Thursday mornings at Rock Edge in Headington and one on Friday mornings at Headington Quarry Foundation Stage School’s site in Headington Quarry.
Little Leaves Forest School (Kidlington)
Fun and creative Forest School sessions for under-5s, led by Suzi, a qualified, experienced Early Years teacher and Level 3 Forest School Leader.
Little Wild Things (Chadlington, Charlbury, Great Tew & Enstone)
At a Little Wild Things session children will be encouraged to explore and play through specifically designed activities aimed to encourage their interest in the natural world. Activities might include bug hunting, mud painting or den building. Regular sessions run at various locations from Monday to Wednesday. Look out for school holiday workshops too on their facebook page.
Muddy Feet (Evenley Wood Gardens)
There are lots of fun sessions and events run by Muddy Feet from Evenley Wood Garden or Newbottle woods in Northamptonshire. They have a well established weekly Forest School preschool adventures, which is a fun parent and toddler session running on Fridays from March to December during term time.
During the school holidays they also run a Muddy Explorers Club for 4-11 year olds and Muddy Adventures for teenagers aged 12 and over.