What Is a Forest School?

In a time where individuals are more environmentally conscious than ever before, and as a younger, more attuned generation emerges, care and concern for the environment are of the utmost importance. So it isn’t surprising that schools all over the world are looking for ways to teach young children about the outdoors, foster an appreciation of nature and include nature within education settings. For this reason, forest schools are an important part of a child’s education. What is a forest school, though? Find out everything you need to know about forest schools and their benefits for children in this expert guide from The Tipi Company. 

What is forest school?

Forest school is an outdoor educational process that allows children to develop themselves through healthy engagement with risk, problem-solving, and discovery. A forest school is held within a natural environment and allows children to experience a form of hands-on education.

Forest schools are typically aimed at primary school-aged children, pre-schools, and nurseries because they’re highly beneficial to development at these ages. One way many schools implement this type of educational learning is through the use of tipi tents.

what is a forest school

Forest school tipis for outdoor learning

Unfortunately, many schools do not have direct access to natural resources like woodlands or parks, so they must think of an alternative way to bring children and nature together within an inspiring and exciting outdoor space. At The Tipi Company, we provide a fantastic range of outdoor classroom tents that make for the perfect teaching space for outdoor lessons.

Outdoor classrooms are extremely popular because they offer schools a whole new way of teaching their students. Many schools use our Midi Hat Tipi as an outdoor classroom environment. This excellent tipi is ideal for taking students outdoors and creating a fun, spacious environment for them away from their usual classroom setting. 

After recently investing in one of our outdoor classroom tipis, Wincheap Foundation Primary School in Kent said: 

“We are so happy with our tipi as it compliments the school ethos of outdoor experiential learning. It provides us with the opportunity to house a whole class, plus space inside to do our forest school activities. It’s also a great shelter in the winter and a cool shade on hot summer days, plus it’s been strong enough to withstand wind and storms. Overall, a great resource for our school.”

Another fantastic example of utilising tipis in an outdoor learning environment is our vertical gardens case study. At 22 Street Lane Nursery in the heart of Yorkshire, where limited outdoor space was available, a giant tipi now stands proudly amid a vibrant vertical garden. The result? A sanctuary of greenery that provides not only a respite from educational life but also a nurturing environment for young minds.

What are the benefits of a forest school?

There are many benefits to installing a forest school tipi as part of your educational institution, all centring around a child’s development. Here are the main advantages of using a forest school tipi as part of a child’s education:

  • It creates a secure, weatherproofed covering that is suitable for outdoor learning all year round
  • Provides an inspiring and exciting outdoor covered space for meditation, yoga, and Inamajo lessons, improving children’s well-being and mental health.
  • Presents the perfect opportunity for children to ground themselves in nature and develop their self-regulation skills.
  • Great space in which to learn bushcraft activities, work together as a team and improve their problem-solving capabilities.
  • Gives children a fun and exciting lesson to look forward to each week where their sense of achievement will be heightened.
  • Increases motivation and concentration by taking a step away from technology and into the great outdoors.
  • Helps children build positive relationships with their peers by thinking outside of the box.

Durable and trustworthy forest school tipis

Of course, with many children inside a forest school tipi at one time, schools must assess any risk. At The Tipi Company, we understand that which is why we produce reliable tipis made from high-quality, durable tipi tent canvas that is both weather-resistant and flame-retardant, making them perfect for installation and use in outdoor educational settings.

The superior-quality durable outdoor fabric used on the Midi Hat Tipi for example is highly waterproof, moisture-regulating, and breathable. This makes it perfect for use during the height of summer and the depths of winter. It is also sun-protective and colourfast with a non-fouling finish, making it a visually stunning yet highly practical outdoor structure.

Forest school tipis from The Tipi Company

If you’re an educational institution that has an outdoor space that you would like to take advantage of, our handmade tipis could be the perfect solution for you. Here at The Tipi Company, we are here to help you, every step of the way. We build more than tipis, we help build businesses. 

For more information on our tipis, the types we have available, and how they can help achieve your business goals, get in contact with the team at The Tipi Company.