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Forest School

Forest School is an educational approach that focuses on learning and play in natural outdoor environments. It originated in Scandinavia in the 1950s and has since spread across the world, including Portugal. The Forest School approach was developed to help children connect with nature, develop confidence, and learn important life skills.

The story of Forest School began in Denmark, where a group of educators noticed that children who spent time playing in natural environments had better physical, social, and emotional health than those who did not. They developed a programme that allowed children to play and explore in the forest, with minimal adult intervention. This approach emphasised child-led learning, curiosity, and exploration, and was aimed at developing self-esteem and a sense of responsibility in children.

Today, Forest School programs can be found in schools, nurseries, and outdoor education centres throughout the world. These programmes offer children the chance to learn through outdoor play and exploration, with trained Forest School leaders facilitating their experiences. Forest School provides children with the opportunity to develop skills such as risk assessment, problem-solving, and teamwork, as well as fostering a deep connection with the natural environment.

Research has shown that Forest School can have many benefits for children, including improved mental health and wellbeing, increased physical activity levels, and enhanced social skills. By spending time in natural environments, children learn to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the natural world, and are more likely to become advocates for the environment. This can help create a generation of environmentally conscious individuals who are committed to protecting our planet for future generations.

Why the Outdoors?

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