The Forest School was established at Bedford campus in January 2016. The Forest School is part of the University’s Education and Sport Faculty
It provides a resource for the University’s trainee teachers as well as opportunities to the local community for teachers to be trained in outdoor learning and for their classes to experience the long-term educational benefits of outdoor play.
Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor of the University who opened the Forest School said: “The Forest School is an exciting development for the University of Bedfordshire. Our aim is to embed Forest School learning within our teaching programme.”
"The Forest School will also have other benefits for the University: It will help us to identify research opportunities in ecological, environmental and sustainable education, including sensory development in young children.”
Forest School is an educational approach to playing and learning outdoors. Denmark established Forest Schools in the 1980s based on providing children with a nursery education that encourages children to appreciate and learn about the natural world.
Children who attend Forest Schools have been shown to develop strong social skills, high self-esteem and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Bedfordshire’s Forest School has been developed with a particular focus on children’s sensory development. The planting is highly scented and there is a textured trail with a story and therapy circle all centred on children with special educational needs.