Watton-at-Stone Primary and Nursery School

Rectory Lane, Watton-At-Stone, Hertfordshire, SG14 3SG

01920 830233


Forest school At watton at stone


The Forest School Ethos

Forest School is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.

Children engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year and in almost all weathers. Children will work with tools, light fires, play, explore, challenge and learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world.

The Forest School concept originated in Denmark, originally aimed at preschool children, where it was found that children who had attended forest school then arrived at school with strong social and communication skills, having the ability to work in groups effectively, generally had high self-esteem and a confidence in their own abilities. These foundations helped them to raise their academic achievements.

A Forest School encourages children to:

  • develop personal and social skills
  • work through practical problems and challenges
  • use tools to create, build or manage
  • discover how they learn best
  • pursue knowledge that interests them
  • learn how to manage failures
  • build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk
  • develop practical skills
  • understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle
  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth
  • regularly experience achievement and success
  • reflect on learning and experiences
  • develop their language and communication skills
  • improve physical motor skills
  • become more motivated
  • improve their concentration skills


Hawthorn Woods

Our Forest School at Watton at Stone takes place in Hawthorn Woods, a piece of land adjacent to the school. As the name suggests, there is an abundance of native Hawthorn trees in the woods, along with Ash, Sycamore, Field Maple, Oak and Beech trees. We always have our fair share of nettles and brambles and the children quickly learn the best places to explore and play. In the Spring we all look forward to seeing the magenta coloured cones develop on the Larch tree. 

Forest School Websites







Spotters Sheets

Out and about in Watton at Stone, then how about taking these Spotter sheets with you!

Twig spotter sheet

Leaf spotter sheet

Spider spotter

Ladybirds spotter sheet

Bees spotter sheet


Things to Remember...

Whilst we know and understand that Forest School is not about giving the children a list of rules and regulations to follow, we are aware that there a few sensible Things to Remember when we are in the woods. The children are very adept at helping any new visitors learn these Things to Remember...

  • Keep your hands out of your mouths and remember to wash your hands when we get back to school
  • You can run around in Hawthorn Woods, but be aware that the ground is lumpy and bumpy. If you do fall over, pick yourself up and brush yourself down!
  • There are lots of brambles and nettles in Hawthorn woods - so, only squeeze into a space if you can get out again!
  • Moving sticks and branches thicker than your arm - then they need to be dragged along. Remember to check sticks etc. before picking them up; they might be thorny!
  • Only climb trees if an adult is present and remember 3 bits (2 hands, one leg or two legs, one hand) of you on the tree at any one time. Feet can go as high as the adults head - so choose your adult carefully!
  • And most importantly....have fun!