Holiday Academy Outdoor Forest School Camp for Kids in London
Forest School at Holiday Academy is an inspirational alternative learning experience which takes place on a regular basis outdoors in natural settings and across all seasons.
We have Holiday Academy Outdoor Forest school programmes for ages 6+ and for 3-6s.
Holiday Academy Outdoor Forest school programme for ages 6-12 yrs: 10am-4pm with more hours available from 8.30am or until 6pm.
Holiday Academy Outdoor Forest school programme for ages 3-6 yrs: 9.45am-3pm with more hours available from 8.30am or until 6pm.
The children are gathered together at the Holiday Academy venue in groups by the Forest school leaders + assistants to spend the day outside in a local park. They get ready with the appropriate clothing and hi-viz vests and hear about the plan for the day, asking any questions they need to.
They either walk (3-6s) or take public transport (bus) to where they need to go. This too is part of the experience.
Once they arrive at the park they begin the day making a ‘base camp’ where the introductions are made if required (one person speaking at a time, holding the speaking stick!). This sets the tone for the group where everyone’s contribution is important, encouraged and valued.
Through a carefully planned program of achievable tasks, play and activities including den/shelter building, fire lighting, outdoor cooking, team games, wood work, tool use, and nature-based craft, each participant has an opportunity to learn about and connect to the natural environment, problem solve, and enjoy being part of a team. Forest school looks at each child individually and moulds the sessions around the children to enable self-esteem, independence, and creativity to flourish in the fresh air. To finish the session the children gather again in a circle to round off the day, express how they are feeling, and then return back to Holiday Academy.
Forest school can be cross linked to academic teaching having a positive effect in the class room, at home, and in the community. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore and be part of the nature world, and Forest School can be the link to investigating and experiencing these magical places. You will find your children bringing home sticks to whittle, with rosy cheeks and sleeping super well at night!
Each day is linked so we recommend booking for the entire week for maximum benefit and group dynamics. Some of the children choose Forest school each holiday and the Forest School leaders recognize this and include it in their planning. The nature of Forest school is to be inclusive so any new child just fits straight into the group.
The children are picked up from the Holiday Academy venue by the Forest school leaders and dropped back later in the day. If the weather is bad they will make cozy shelters with tarpaulin sheets, and contingency plans are in place if it is truly awful! There is the old adage there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing! All Forest school children need to be dressed in good, water proof clothing with well fitting water proof shoes/boots and please be prepared for very muddy, happy children (who will sleep super well)! The children can always change into dry, clean clothes and shoes on arrival back to Holiday Academy.
With Forest School activities, the children are free to be outside all day in the fresh air: the older ones going on excursions to local parks and Camley Nature reserve, using public transport to access Hampstead Heath and all the great spaces further afield; the younger ones going to Regent’s park and Primrose hill park. They will have a better appreciation for nature, themselves, and also just how important it is to preserve this beautiful world we live in!
We are especially pleased with our Holiday Academy Forest School because we love getting out to see and experience new things. From taking the children to find a great mud slide, climb trees, make dens, finding a huge space to just run, or something really specific like checking out some Great Crested Newts there is always something thrilling going on that the kids adore! The urban experience can be so grown up, it’s wonderful to have an opportunity to get back into simply having fun outside. This can also be built on from holiday to holiday.
Kids between the ages of 3 and 12 years are just learning about this big globe we live on, so the Holiday Academy Forest school for kids brings them to places that open whole new worlds to them, and augment what they learn at school.
At Holiday Academy we love to promote practical independent skills for children who can assess their own risk – learning how to walk safely and responsibly in a group (wearing hi viz vests), looking at maps, and negotiating the London Transport system, looking after their belongings, but also social independence, resilience and working as a team, guided – of course – by our experienced staff.
Book a place at Forest School camp in London
Once you’ve seen your child at Forest School – or witnessed them arriving home in a happy, tired slump – you’ll know how worthwhile it really is. Our Forest School in London has developed from demand and we know from first-hand experience how absolutely wonderful and wonder-filled they can be. So if your child’s never tried it, why not give it a go? We get booked up quite quickly so jump in with your dates as soon as you can!
You can book just one day or (recommended) a whole week – and we run all year long, throughout the seasons, for those who can’t get enough! Our indoor-based Holiday Academy day-camp is available too, in case you want to give the kids a mixture of experiences (and it will be a really joyous jumble!). At Holiday Academy we offer kayaking trips (over 8 yrs old) as well as creative activities like art projects, drama, music, sport and tennis clubs. We run street dance workshops some weeks, and drama productions during others. It’s always different and always brilliant!
Get in touch if you want to find out more about the options for each school holiday.
Forest camps for your wildlings
Our outdoor ‘forest school’ camps are non-residential, although you can opt for more hours (the kids return from forest camp at either 3pm (Junior Forest school) or 4pm (Senior Forest school), but we’re open from 8.30am until 6pm). The children learn how to use tools properly starting with a potato peeler. They safely build fires using the ‘fire triangle’ and do outdoor cooking in a nearby church garden. Observation, navigation, foraging, den-building, tree climbing, mud slides, nature based games, child-led initiatives, letting off steam, sensory-play (squidging mud etc!), and team-work: there is no end to the skills that can be learned as the group learns and grows together, and the sessions are planned/risk assessed around the children. So we like to have each group for a week so they build up their skills and resilience, but we won’t stop you from booking a day if you have a child who’d just like to try it out. Contact us about forest school in London