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Tips when dressing for Forest School

Here in Forest School, we are outdoor explorers, adventurers, botanists, organic fire starters and fun lovers. To allow us to do all of these things, we need to be dressed appropriately for the activity, environment and weather.

When a child doesn’t spend time worrying about getting their clothes dirty or feeling uncomfortable because they are getting cold and wet, they have more fun and really engage in Forest School. That is exactly what we want for the children at Hayfield Lane Primary.

With this in mind, here are a few tips on what to dress your child in so they can access the full experience of our wonderful outdoor area and all it can offer.


  1. Wear the scruffiest clothing you have (playing out clothes). DO NOT WEAR ANYTHING EXPENSIVE OR IMPORTANT TO YOU. IT WILL GET DIRTY!
  2. Wear wellies (if you have them) or old trainers you don’t mind getting VERY muddy. Bring these to school in a bag so you have dry shoes for indoors and you have a bag to bring your muddy boots home in.
  3. Always bring a waterproof coat (it rains in summer too).
  4. Layer your clothing (t-shirt, jumper, fleece, waterproof) It will be warmer than wearing just one big coat.
  5. If it is a hot day, bring a cap to cover your head.
  6. If it is cold day, bring a hat to keep your head and ears warm.

We use the Forest School in all but extreme weather (for safety reasons we do not go outside in extreme heat or wind). Please dress your child in appropriate clothing for the weather and expect your child to come home wearing dirty clothes and a great big smile!

Here at Hayfield Lane Primary, we are lucky to have a purpose built, on-site Forest School which is accessible to all our pupils. The ethos of Forest School promotes child-centred creativity, confidence building, independence and the growth of self-esteem through our long-term sessions with our Level 3 qualified Forest School practitioner. We explore our surroundings, learn about the animals and insects we share our environment with and enjoy taking managed risk through bush craft, fire building, tool use and of course, play. Our children are more resilient, confident and independent learners who learn to use their imagination in nature. 

The weather last week in Forest School was fffffreezing!! Thank goodness we were all dressed for it and we were toasty warm. The Yr4 children put their trust in their peers when we played "easily led". We worked in pairs with one being blindfold and reliant on the other to direct them over obstacles to reach the finish line. This reinforces trust and polishes our communication skills too (and it's lots of fun!). 

Our nursery children enjoyed a campfire chocolate around the fire to finish the week off in style. 

Last week in Forest School, Yr6 Phoenix class used natural resources to make rangoli patterns to celebrate Diwali. A colourful pattern placed at the door to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth. Mindfulness activities that are done outdoors have so many health benefits and who doesn't like using coloured chalk too!

For remembrance weekend, the children from Yr2 Kingfishers made clay tree poppies to remember the brave soldiers from the past and our men and women from our armed forces who keep us safe every day.  

Step aside Sherlock Holmes! Year 1 Starlings turned detective for the afternoon when they visited Forest School. Armed with pots and magnifiers, they investigated who we share our environment with. They found big juicy worms, spiders galore (September and October is spider season) and lots of other bugs. Shouts of "EEEEWWWW" turned to "WOW!" as they shared the outdoor space with each other and nature.

In between downpours, lots of our children have visited Forest School this week and had BIG fun! We investigated our surroundings and made our very own super-critters in clay using ideas from all the bugs that we share our space with. Free play is always a firm favourite of every year group that visits Forest School, so our adventurers also decided that rainwater catching and butterfly netting was important too. 

Summer has arrived at Forest School and with it came warm faces, long grass and hours of sun. We love to be outdoors in all weathers but especially when the sun shines. The Forest School is a nature area so the grass isn't kept short by mowers, which gives our children natural resources to work, learn and play with.

This week Yr3 Owls and Yr2 Kingfishers made nature bracelets, learned how to make a grass whistles and built dens. Fantastic!

We practice "Skill Share" in our wonderful Forest School, where if we can do something well, we share that with a friend to pass on that skill. Our amazing Yr6 Phoenix class are now organic fire starters and can use a flint and steel to start a controlled fire within our outdoor area (under the guidance of our Forest School practitioner). A few of our children really had the knack so shared their skill with others. Before long, we had shouts of "YESSSS!!" and those who couldn't, all of a sudden, could! 

Has early Spring, sprung? We have our first splash of spring colour! Our beautiful daffodil bulbs were planted at the end of September by our nursery children. Look what you made, Robins!

During some recent wet weather, Yr1 became worm charmers for the afternoon! With a homemade "Worm Grunting" stick and viewing pots. We found LOTS of juicy worms. Once the children had shared their findings with each other and carefully handles them, they were placed back where they had been found. We love seeing what shares our forest school with us!

Part of Forest School is learning bush-craft, and here Yr1 Nightingales are mastering the skill of using a flint and steel to light a fire and then enjoying the fruits of their labour with a big pan of popcorn cooked on the campfire. 

When it comes to campfires, we really cook up a storm! Today, our Receptions classes, Sparrows and Wrens, visited Forest School. The children have been learning about Shrove (pancake day) so they mixed up a batch of pancakes for Mrs H to cook on the fire. Everybody tried one, including the adults, they were a lovely treat as well as extending their classroom learning. Come back to Forest School soon Wrens and Sparrows!

You can stop looking, we've found it!!! Yr1 went looking for spring this week in Forest School. We weren't sure if we would find it, but lots of things around us are telling us that spring is here at Hayfield Lane. Goodbye winter!