Sandwell Forest School Initiative @ Lavender Farm Nursery

"Can we imagine ourselves back into that place of discovery when the world was new, to that time when we were thrilled by our senses?"


The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals through positive outdoor experiences. The Forest School concept established in Denmark for pre-school aged children in the 1980’s was introduced into Great Britain in the late 1990’s through Bridgwater College Somerset. Sandwell Forest School initiative was formed in 2011 with the opening of a designated Forest School site located in Sandwell Valley Country Park – delivering Forest School sessions for pre-school age children to primary age children.


Why is Lavender Farm offering the Forest School approach for your child ? 

  • It supports hands on active learning
  • Develops confident, successful children
  • Helps children look after themselves, each other and their world
  • Increases parental involvement
  • Offers risk and challenge
  • Supports their learning in school
  • Promotes active, healthy lifestyles

Research shows that children exposed to the Forest School approach possess stronger social skills, a greater ability to work in groups, have a higher self esteem and confidence in their capabilities and have 25% fewer days of school due to illness and present with generally lower stress levels. What experiences will your child have?

  • Den building
  • Camp fires
  • Using tools
  • Caring for the natural environment
    …And much, much more.

Things you need to know:

Your child will attend a Forest School session every week for a period of 8 weeks. It takes place in all weathers with the exception of the Forest School leader deeming it to dangerous so please assume your child will be outside in all weathers. We request you provide:

Play clothes (old) – many layers

Wellington boots or strong footwear

Sun hats / sun cream / woolly hat / gloves (weather depending)

Appropriate clothing according to the weather

Your children will get muddy– so old clothes only- please be prepared to have to wash them after a session.

We have robust safety mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of your child is paramount — every session is run by a qualified Forest School practitioner and there is a higher staff: child ratio of 1:4

Children today still need the peace of long slow paced, active and engaged childhoods with plenty of time to "finger slime", peer into water and make hosts of discoveries which consolidate the process of knowing self worth. Genius of Play 1999

SFSI Advisory Group

Samantha Barratt – Play Services Manager SMBC Play Service

Out To Play was established, to broaden and extend the range of quality free play opportunities across Sandwell. We provide a range of inclusive borough wide activities and manage the programme of activities for Sandwell Forest School Initiative.

Saeeda Norris – Parents as Partners in Early Learning Programme Manager (PPEL)

PPEL recognises the important role that parents/ carers have in their children’s early learning – both in their home, in their setting and in their environment – indoors and outdoors. Forest schools is an ideal vehicle to encourage parental engagement and support adults involvement with their children’s learning.

A School Life Website
School Life iOS Mobile Application
School Life Android Mobile Application