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C of E Primary School

"Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."  (Philippians 2:4)

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Forest School

Our Forest School Vision and Principles

The pupils of Chingford CofE have taken part in outdoor learning for many years. We have enjoyed visits to Suntrap Forest Centre, the Epping Forest Field Centre and Gilwell International Scouts Camp. We have our own allotment and maintain connections with enthusiasts at the local allotment sites. Two members of staff qualified as Level 2 Forest School Assistants in 2020 and our Forest School will be formally established in 2023, when one of our Level 2 Assistants completes Level 3 Forest School Practitioner training and assessment.

As a Rights Respecting school, we recognise children’s right to play, have access to nature and the outdoors, their rights to experience a healthy range of emotions through engaging with others socially and in teams, and their right to be able to access risk in a natural setting.

We believe that engaging in Forest School will encourage independence and risk taking, increase self-esteem and further develop social skills – to name but a few of the benefits. Chingford CofE Primary School’s Forest School follows the principles laid down by The Forest School Association:

  • Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one –off or infrequent visits. Planning, adaptation, observation and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
  • Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  • Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  • Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Regular sessions in a natural outdoor setting support social and emotional development and wellbeing. The activities are tailored to the needs of each child so that they may feel a sense of achievement and build resilience to failure when risk taking, having been challenged at an achievable level. This is a learner led experience, a space where children can guide the direction of sessions and gradually govern their own time. This is achieved through becoming a learning community with shared and independent responsibilities – where all are valued and can trust and rely on others.


Sustainability and climate change

The policy paper Sustainability and climate change: a strategy for the education and children’s services systems states that:

Through education we have the privilege to be able to engage directly with children and young people who:

  • Are passionate about the natural world
  • Want to do their best to protect it
  • Can influence their wider communities

Through their learned and lived experiences from early years to further and higher education, we will provide opportunities to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the importance of nature, sustainability and the causes and impact of climate change and to translate this knowledge into positive action and solutions.

In the UK, there are more than 16 million children, young people and adults in education. The enthusiasm of youth can inspire the whole of society to work together at the start of this crucial decade for the planet.

(DFE 2022)

One of the aims of Forest School is to support participants in developing a life-long relationship with the outside world and share this with others. We are engaged in taking small steps to protect our environment and the future of the natural world. 

During our sessions the children are learning:

• To leave no trace that we have been present

• To not over use one area with excessive gathering of natural resources and footfall

• To assist in rewilding areas of our site

• To create habitats for wildlife

• To understand that living organisms are dependent on their environment

• That a healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs




Chingford CofE Primary School

Kings Road

London, E4 7EY

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