Children from a local nursery explore Grove Park LNR

Hire of Lewisham’s sites for Forest Schools and environmental education

The London Borough of Lewisham is keen for local schools to make use of its fantastic parks, open spaces and nature reserves to enhance their teaching and encourages outdoor learning. This can be done via self-led sessions or though our nature conservation officer. There are a number of worksheets available on the blog which we are happy for you to download and use, but please let us know what you think of them or if you have any suggestions for improvements.

Forest Schools

Lewisham has recently developed a Forest Schools and Education Policy which explains what is requited from groups who wish to use our sites.

What is a Forest School (FS)?

A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.” (Sarah Blackwell)

The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences. By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in an outdoor environment each child has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound emotional and social skills. These, through self-awareness can be developed to reach personal potential.

Forest Schools have demonstrated success with children of all ages through play, learning about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. 

The process of choosing which schools or nurseries can use the site

Any group wishing to use a site must first fill out a Lewisham Council Forest Schools Hire Form. All questions must be answered in full or your place will not be considered. Forms will be evaluated by Lewisham’s Nature Conservation Team and a decision made considering order of application and the following criteria:

  • Priority will be given to Lewisham nurseries/schools
  • Relevant and robust processes in place (e.g. risk assessment, safeguarding)
  • Activities proposed
  • Monitoring/mitigating measures proposed

More information can be found in Lewisham’s Forest Schools and Education Policy. Alternatively, please contact the nature conservation officer.

NB: Please note that we have very limited availability for Forest Schools.

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Toad © Jess Kyle

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