What is Schola Foris?

Schola Foris is Latin for “school out of doors”. Which just about sums us up. It’s our belief that whatever you learn indoors, you can learn outdoors, with the added benefits of feeling integral to our natural world, and primarily using resources that the natural world offers our learning.

Outdoor Adventures in the Wacky Woods

Forest School in Educational and Community Settings

Alex Douglas-Kane of Schola Foris

Schola Foris is fundamentally a forest school provider, offering forest school programmes for children and young people of all ages, either in their own educational setting, a local woodland, or our own beautiful wood near Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Our forest school programmes, run over a minimum of one term, offer children opportunities to develop self confidence, increase self esteem, acquire practical lifelong useful skills, and to explore their inherent creativity and enquiring natures in a natural woodland setting. We aim to broaden children’s horizons, engender a love of nature and the outdoors and provide deep experiential learning opportunities which are based on their own personal intrinsic motivations.

A bit of Risky Play in the Wacky Woods

Chances to play, exercise, learn, grow, laugh, share and reflect are all part of a Schola Foris forest school programme. Our aim is to give children the freedom, in nature, and  to have flexible, knowledgeable, trained adult support, scaffolding their own self-initiated learning.

We provide an environment in which children can stretch themselves physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually, each according to their own need and personal stage of development. We are passionate believers that all children learn best when their levels of well being are high. It is key to our offering that every child, as part of a Schola Foris forest school programme, develops both a strong sense of well being and self worth and that all children understand how to engender this in other children around them.

Curriculum Enrichment

Our Curriculum Enrichment Days held in forest and woodlands are specifically designed to support learning taking place within the classroom from Early Years right through Primary to Secondary School up to KS4.

Fire cooked marshmallow

Our bespoke days are designed to enrich teaching by offering larger scale, practical projects outdoors. These are available to run along side both core and foundation subjects for experiential learning with the added benefit of learning outdoors.

Single subjects, eg. mathematics or specific projects eg. Vikings, as well as more thematic cross curricula sessions can be creatively designed. All the days are designed so that an element of practical skills, collaborative working and learning challenges are incorporated. We work very closely with class and subject teachers to ensure learning outcomes are met.

All this with the added pleasure of a campfire and toasted marshmallows.

Supporting Teachers, Trainers and Home Educators

As well as our commitment to the pedagogy and ethos attributable to forest school, we support teachers, trainers and home educators in extending their children’s learning by taking their teaching outdoors. It is important to us that those who are leading the learning of our nations children have the confidence to take that learning outdoors. We deliver training sessions and days, both in our own woods and in school grounds. Full INSET days or twilight sessions for teachers, and creative outdoor learning sessions for those educating their children at home are designed to suit specific client needs: whether that’s whole school learning, or whether its a particular focus on a specific cohort or subject.

Supporting Teachers

Nor do we eschew the modern day world, fully believing that appropriate use of information and communication technology can not only assist learning, but also allow us to further engage children in the understanding of the natural world with technology that is increasingly becoming the norm for children. So we’re definitely not averse to blogging from the woods, geocacheing, or using smartphone apps for information, research as well as exploring the use of age appropriate social media to often add a global perspective to our Schola Foris.

Willow Structures and Natural Playscapes

We love designing willow structures outdoors: as  living, growing learning spaces, as fun play areas, along with linking these to enhanced natural playscapes in schools and communities to support collaborative, exploratory and creative play.

Willow Structures and Natural Playscapes

We often do these as projects with pupils and the learning community as a whole, so that everyone has a chance to participate in creating their own beautiful living and growing structures.