Outdoor learning with Forest Schools | Portsmouth High School

Outdoor learning with Forest Schools

At Portsmouth High School teachers make full use of the outdoor classroom as a stimulating learning environment across all subjects.

Girls enjoy weekly forest school sessions, an innovative educational approach to outdoor learning and play influenced by Scandinavian educational practices.

Forest school activities put the learner at the heart of the learning experience and give girls opportunities to engage with the rich diversity of the outdoors and develop confidence through risk taking in a safe environment and with appropriate support.

Forest school sessions start in the Nursery School and continue through to Year 6 with our accredited Forest School teacher Mrs West. The girls venture outside in all weathers and head down to make shelters, light fires and use tools as well as to look at the seasons and lifecycles. Lessons often support all areas of the curriculum and girls get hands-on outside with science and nature activities. The girls have made waterproof shelters and tried them out during storms, have lit fires and made hot chocolate in the freezing cold.

Forest school activities increase self-esteem, self-confidence and resilience. Girls are taught skills to negotiate and problem solve, build friendships and develop communication skills. Fire is a part of our forest school learning and the school has a specially constructed outdoor fire pit area where the girls learn how to manage and build a fire appropriately. At Portsmouth High Junior School girls make the most of spacious outdoor grounds and increase their knowledge and understanding of the environment.

The Guardian – The forest schools revolution – leaves, logs and life skills

The Telegraph – Reading, writing and mud, the growth of forest schools


Why do you like Forest School activities?

We make fires
Arabella Year 2

Because I feel free
Matilda Year 3

We are outside
Eleanor Year 4

Because I love using tools and making things
Tabitha Year 6


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Portsmouth High School is part of the Girls Day School Trust

The Girls’ Day School Trust, 100 Rochester Row, London SW1P 1JP
Tel 020 7393 6666