The Northern Ireland Forest School Association is a charity established to help schools and youth groups embed sustainable environmental education programmes into their normal day-to-day activities. All of the programmes are designed to be fun and thought provoking. They encourage pupils to explore their own local natural environment, all year round and in all weathers.
Three environmental education programmes are currently offered:
Forest School Programme – They are characterised by the following –
a) Regular visits over a long period of time to an outdoor setting, regardless of weather.
b) Clear boundaries are established for the pupils to stay within.
c) The pupils are given the freedom to explore using multiple senses. This is fundamental for encouraging creative, diverse and imaginative play.
d) The focus is on the “whole child” (not just their academic ability).
e) By incorporating innovative approaches to learning pupils are encouraged to develop their curiosity and motivation to learn.
f) It is led by a suitably trained and qualified expert.