Join the Forest School Revolution!
Forest school and bushcraft lessons are becoming increasingly popular among schools looking to diversify their curriculum and get their students outside in nature. They are also becoming more and more popular with parents and carers looking at the educational facilities that each of their local schools can offer to ensure their children have a vast array of learning opportunities available to them. With benefits to physical health, mental health and educational attainment, we are proud advocates for forest school! With Cabins For Schools, you can give your students the perfect spot for outdoor learning. Why should forest school have to stop for the weather? With a log cabin, your school can deliver outdoor education all year round. Whether you choose a cabin with a solar pipe to let the natural light flood in, or a BBQ cabin equipped for teaching students about fire safety and cooking, we can help you to cultivate the perfect forest school space!
The benefits of outdoor learning
- Time spent in nature helps to develop problem-solving abilities, focus, attention span, and executive function skills.
- It can bring abstract theories to life and emphasises learning by doing
- Higher academic achievement
- Improved social skills
- Practice of essential transferable soft skills such as adaptability, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, etc.
- Increased serotonin levels
- Physical exercise
How creating a forest school with a log cabin will support the practice of soft skills
Different outdoor learning experiences offer opportunities for personal and learning skills development. Here are just some of the ways that adding a log cabin to your school grounds and introducing a forest school will create more scope for integrating soft skill practice in education…
Creating or developing a forest school programme with an outdoor classroom or log cabin opens up endless opportunities for group work. Students can develop their teamwork skills as well as practising conflict resolution. Having the skills to empathise and collaborate with others affects school cohesion, friendships and wellbeing. When students are sat at the same desks next to the same people everyday, there is minimal opportunity to branch out and form new friendships or work with a variety of peers. Forest schools and outdoor learning environments provide students with new and alternative spaces to try out new activities together as part of a team. Having a forest school programme also creates opportunities to develop problem-solving abilities.
BBQ Cabins: Fire Safety
If you opt for one of our log cabins with a central BBQ grill, you can implement fire safety and cooking lessons into your forest school or outdoor learning curriculum. This creates opportunities for critical thinking and the development of risk management skills, identifying and dealing with potential hazards and decision making. Risk-taking in a controlled, safe environment can help to develop a child’s self-confidence, resilience, the expansion of their personal boundaries and the improvement of executive functioning abilities too.
Often, a traditional classroom set up may not provide opportunities for communication between students. While this is great for academic lessons and the attainment of hard skills, it is not so effective for the practice of certain soft skills. Peer-to-peer communication is important for the development of interpersonal skills and communication skills. If you opt for one of our log cabins, they are designed to be circular in shape. The students can sit in a circle which encourages eye contact and active listening. This is key because developing good communication skills is vital for a successful learning journey. Sometimes, being indoors in the traditional classroom can feel overcrowded or intimidating to some young people. Taking learning outdoors can help children to come ‘out of their shells’, improving their self-confidence and their willingness to engage in communication.
By creating an outdoor learning or forest school space at your school, you can create so many opportunities for your students to take ownership of their school grounds, outdoor classrooms and green spaces. It might be that you choose to grow vegetables or flowers and provide students with the responsibility of nurturing them and watching them grow. Responsibility is a very important transferable soft skill for all aspects of their future lives. In fact, the students at Cutnall Green C of E Primary School have an admirable sense of ownership for their forest school space. They helped to clear their school grounds of sticks in preparation for their fantastic Cabins for Schools log cabin to be built. The students are provided with so many opportunities to get involved and take responsibility for their environment and facilities. You can find out more in our case study video.
Forest School Funding Opportunities
Ernest Cook Trust – Outdoor Essentials Grant (UK)
The Outdoor Essentials Grant is a £500 award to UK state funded Primary and Secondary schools to enable them to get their pupils learning outdoors. Applicants can be any UK state funded Ofsted Registered Primary, Middle, Secondary or High school: Any UK state funded Ofsted Registered Primary, Middle, Secondary or High school may apply. The current round of funding is in support of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative and will cover the purchase of the necessary equipment required for the planting of trees and their ongoing care. Grants also can cover the purchase of Outdoor Learning resources that engage young people with the environment such as bug hotels, bird boxes and minibeast investigation kits.
A grant of up to £500 is available under two schemes: Wellies & Waterproofs: Outdoor clothing to enable children and young people to learn outdoors. Nature and Nurture: Projects to create areas where young people can connect with nature within school grounds or the local community.