Forest School

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Forest School

Click for the Forest School Gallery

“Outdoors is full of unpredictability and the sheer variability of

the outdoors as an environment is what makes it unique.”

                                                        (Tovey, 2007)


Our fantastic ever evolving Forest School area.

in 2016 the forest school area at Compass Point was developed by volunteers from Avon Wild life Trust and Compass Point School and Children Centre. Beetle Banks were built in the shape of a ladybird and slow-worm.  Stick and Log Screens were erected containing a mix of sticks and logs to create vertical insect homes. Mini-beast world contains small rocks, mini caves, and planted ferns to look like trees so the children can let their imagination draw them in, shrinking there perspective to think how this world is for a much smaller animal exploring this small world. Hanging bug baskets have been suspended from the trees and contain plants and other vegetation creating hanging habitats for wildlife and a visually interesting feature.  

The new pond, which is already a home for a frog will provide an opportunity for pond dipping activities as it becomes more established.

What is Forest School at Compass Point?

The Facts:

  • A mixture of independent (child-led) and structured outdoor learning.
  • Not necessarily carried out in a forest! Any outdoor setting with access to trees, bushes, plants, water, insects, or mud is fine!
  • We explore and observe the natural world using all our senses.
  • We set challenges and take safely managed risks.
  • We work independently and as a team to develop our confidence and self esteem.
  • We follow our own interests and fascinations:
  • We play in the mud.
  • We use tools – saws, hammers, whittling knives, cutting tools, nails – to explore and create with the wood and plants around us.
  • We build fires, and learn about fire safety.
  • We build dens, in which we consume hot chocolate with cold fingers.
  • We have fun!



The Children at Compass Point have the opportunity to visit the Forest School site at Compass Point and also to travel off site to the local National Trust grounds at Tyntesfield. Children in Reception take part n Beach school in Clevedon during the summer term. We are always looking for volunteers to help with Beach School and Forest School, just get in touch with a member of the early years staff to make arrangements. All volunteers undergo strict safeguarding checks.

The children have opportunities to develop their independence skills, to build strong relationships with staff and peers, develop turn taking and the skills to work together cooperatively.  

Practitioners support children to understand and use a breadth of language to describe their past and present experiences and understanding of the world. The children wonder about the world around them; questioning how a rainbow appears, a worm moves without legs and a squirrel can climb a tree.

Physical skills are developed. Children set themselves challenges to explore, balance along logs and take risks such as to climb trees. Children develop their hand eye control and finer physical skills by using charcoal from the fires to make marks and sticks to stir various thick and thin consistencies of mud!

The children are able to understand and explore the mathematical language of measure through an interest in how high and far they can reach with sticks. A fascination with weight and the transporting of heavier logs enables children to order objects by weight.  The deep puddles support the exploration of measure, problem solve and develop critical thinking skills.

Creativity is developed through role play, imaginary cooking and the use of natural objects and pretend play as the children relive past experiences such as making hot chocolate using the water from the puddles or re-enact a recent holiday experience such as fishing.