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Swaffham CE VC Infant and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!

Forest School

What is Forest School?

For all of you wondering 'What actually is forest school?' Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and complements the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.


At Heartwood Forest School all Participants are Viewed as:


  • Equal, unique and valuable
  • Competent to explore and discover
  • Entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
  • Entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
  • Entitled to experience regular success
  • Entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
  • Entitled  to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world


The Forest School Ethos has Six Principles


These principles are:


  1. Forest school is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment.
  2. Forest school takes place in an environment to support and development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  3. Forest school aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  4. Forest school offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  5. Forest school is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
  6. Forest school uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning. 


Heartwood Forest School at Swaffham CE VC Infant and Nursery School


At Swaffham CE VC Infant and Nursery School all the children take part in a weekly Forest School session, where their learning takes place outside in our wonderful, environmentally rich, onsite woodland setting. This enables the children experience and connect with nature.


The children will achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences, trying more risky activities such as tree climbing, building fires, using real tools and den building. 

Our School Value


Starting next term our school value is Courage - We look forward to seeing the children show lots of courage in our forest.


This term our school value is Responsibility and we are working on this value during our time in Heartwood Forest School. The children are involved in being responsible for the world we live in and the forest we explore, learn and play in. They are learning that what the forest provides is very important for them to take care of. Children are encouraged to be responsible for their own things (ie. Coats, gloves, hats, scarves, wellies, spare clothing and water bottles) and also responsible for other people things. We are also exploring taking responsibility of our own thoughts, feelings, words and actions.



Weather Forecast for Week Beginning 11th November 2019


Wednesday 13th: Cloudy, 7 degrees

Thursday 14th: Rain, 7 degrees

Friday 15th: Rain, 8 degrees

Clothing for Forest School


As we are heading into Autumn/Winter we wanted to remind you about what clothing will be best for your children.


We encourage children to dress themselves into their forest school clothing and help where necessary.


Please provide clothing so that your children are able, to the best they can, dress independently. Wellies with linings are very difficult for the children to put on and if they get them wet its very difficult to dry them out. We advise wellies with no lining and plenty of extra socks :o)


If your child has forest school in the morning please can you make sure they are Forest School ready with waterproofs and wellies already on when they arrive at school. Please bring a change of shoes for when they come back into school.


'There's no bad weather, just bad clothing'

Due to the nature of the activities OLD CLOTHES are a necessity and parents/carers need to understand your child/children will get dirty!!


Spring/summer Autumn Winter
  • Long sleeved tops
  • Long bottoms (joggers/leggings)
  • Jumper/hoody/cardigan
  • Sturdy closed footwear/wellies (Not lined)
  • Waterproofs
  • Sun hats
  • Sun cream
  • Same as Spring/Summer plus
  • warm coat
  • Gloves, hats and scarfs
  • Wellies (Not lined) and socks
  • Thermal waterproofs/all-in-ones/overalls

The key to keeping warm in Autumn/Winter time is lots of thin layers!!!!


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When Does my Child Have Forest School?


  Morning session Afternoon session
Monday Mouse class Mouse class
Tuesday No Forest School No Forest School
Wednesday Fox class Squirrel class
Thursday Deer class Hedgehog class
Friday Rabbit class Badger class


Co-op Local Community Fund


We are delighted that Heartwood Forest School at Swaffham Infant and Nursery School has been chosen to benefit from the Co-op Local Community Fund.


At a time when funds for community groups and charitable organisations are becoming more difficult to access, we are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to make a real difference to the children of Swaffham and surrounding villages. 


We are raising funds to help contribute towards the rebuild of the Forest after four mindless vandalism attacks. Also, the funds raised will enable the forest school to continue to educate over two hundred children a week, allowing them to connect with nature, improving their health and well-being. 


To help us raise vital funds, we will be relying on Co-op members. When a member buys selected products or services from the Co-op they earn five per cent reward for themselves, with a further one per cent for local causes like ours.


The Co-op is looking to support organisations that make a difference in their local communities by protecting and improving community spaces, helping people reach their full potential by developing their skills, or promoting health and well-being. 


Co-op members can choose a cause by going online We really hope that you will visit the website and choose to support us.


If you are not a member and would like to support us, you can join at your local store or online at


When a community comes together, we are able to achieve great things, so we hope you can help promote our project.


For more information about Heartwood Forest School, please visit


Thank you.



'Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives' - Thomas Berry


'Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better' - Einstein

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