Forest School

Dean Valley has its very own Forest School. We have a superb site including a large pond, large trees, open spaces and a steep wooded banking. We also have a wide variety of wildlife including a buzzard who likes to visit.

What is forest school?

“Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.”

  • The Forest School Association, 2023

Watch this 5 minute video for a quick summary of what forest school is

Dean Valley Primary School uses forest school to support the wellbeing of its pupils. By providing time outside engaged in meaningful activities we are encouraging learners to develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually.

In forest school learners can expect to try stuff out and take supported risks in a safe, non-judgemental and nurturing environment. Our Practitioners will support the exploration and solving of real problems, encourage use of tools, fire, ropes and even a spot of campfire cooking all the time building on personally felt experiences of being in the natural world. Opportunities for nature connection provide a good dose of the ‘Green Prescription’ developing healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners who can relate and care for their natural world.

What will my child need/wear?

We ask that you help your child come to school suitably dressed for the outdoors on their forest school day, this can change depending on the weather, but a good start is covered arms and legs and boots or wellies.

  • Hot weather - sun hat, cool/loose fitting clothing and sunscreen, waterproof coat.
  • Cold weather- Dressing for very cold weather can be difficult especially if you or your child struggle with the sensations of some clothing. Wool is warm as is fleece (fleece pyjamas under clothing seem to be quite popular with some children). If the weather is cold, we almost always light a fire and for rain we put up temporary shelter but the right clothes really do help.
  • Base layer-tights, thermals, leggings, vest, long sleeved top.
  • Mid layer- jumper and trousers double up on these if needed.
  • Outer layer- warm and waterproof coat, waterproof trousers.
  • Accessories- thick socks (wool are best) hat, gloves, neck warmer.

How can I get involved?

Dean Valley is a Community Primary School and we welcome the involvement of interested parents. You can volunteer to assist with our forest school by:

  • Helping to maintain our space, e.g. maintaining structures in the space, creating habitat, or general ‘tidy up’ days.
  • Donating resources, e.g. bird boxes, buckets and spades, logs.
  • Offering time alongside our Practitioner, supporting the group to thrive.

If you would like to volunteer please contact the school office via

Telephone 01625 572767



Dean Valley Community Primary School, Albert Road, Bollington, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 5HS

School opens at 8:50 am and closes at 3:20 pm