Learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.

Ofsted 'Learning Outside the Classroom' report, 2008

advantages of outdoor learning

The evidence for the benefits of outdoor learning is overwhelming and growing all the time.   One of the largest scale studies ever done was conducted recently by Natural England over four years on behalf of the government.  The study looked at over 40,000 children from 125 schools and found that children who learn outdoors are happier, healthier and more motivated to learn.  Read the full report here.


Alarmingly, the likelihood of a child visiting any green space at all has halved in a generation.  Now more than ever it is time to let our children experience the joys of the outdoors.   Here are some further areas and research that demonstrate the importance of forest school learning.


Being outdoors all day and more physically fit naturally assist with children's health.  Children who learn outdoors regularly have been found to have fewer allergies as a result.  Blackwell (2015) also found that long term forest school programmes had a positive impact on children's mental health and general wellbeing.   


Study after study has shown that children's ability to socialise and interact with others can be improved by learning outdoors.  Herholdt (2003) found that children use more complex language and construct longer sentences outside.  This is because children in the outdoors are usually in groups or pairs, and this interaction, along with using real life tools and first-hand experiences, increases language development significantly.


Mygind (2007) found that mean activity levels were twice as high in a forest school compared with a traditional school setting.  Boldemann (2006) also found that children who have access to larger outdoor environments have a greater step count and move more than those in traditional settings.  These activity levels develop vital muscle tone and increase weight-controlling hormones.  Ejbye-Ernst (2014) found that learning in nature lead to greater strength, flexibility, co-ordination and concentration. 

Resilience and behavioural improvements

Having worked in education for 20 plus years, our team has seen first hand the transformative benefits of nature on children who are displaying negative behaviours.  Countless studies back up this observation.  Biddle & Asare (2011) found a positive correlation between physical activity and the students behaviour in the classroom, creativity, IQ and general school performance.  Bogner (1998) tested a long-established outdoor ecological programme with 700 students in a national park in Germany. He reported that the programme explicitly provoked favorable shifts in individual behavior, both actual and intended.   

Language development

Dietrich et al (2002) found that playing in nature increased linguistic skills, as they used more inquiring and explorative language.  O'Brien (2009) and her team also studied twenty-four children from seven schools in Oxfordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.  They were observed over an eight-month period as they attended Forest School. Improvements in the children's language and communication, confidence, motivation and concentration, and physical skills were recorded.  Children have been shown to use more complex language and construct longer sentences outdoors.

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Little Foxes Forest School was formed after our team saw how learning outdoors can ignite children's enthusiasm and curiosity for learning.  We repeatedly saw children with behavioural difficulties thrive in the forest, and watched in wonder as children generated deep learning experiences from their environment.  In a parliamentary report by the Committee of Education and Skills into benefits of Outdoor Education (2010) it was found that education outside the classroom is of significant benefit to pupils.  We hope you'd like to join us on this journey to connect children back to nature.

our location



Drop off for Little and Mini Foxes is at the entrance to Stoke Park Estate near the Lockleaze Youth and Playspace BS7 9TB. We meet at the entrance to the meadow in Stoke Park Estate.  If driving, it's best to park outside the Lockleaze Youth and Playspace, BS7 9TB and then walk along the footpath that has two boulders at it's entrance.  About 50m along the footpath the entrance to the meadow is on your right.


Shortly after drop off we'll set off on the short walk through the stunning Stoke Park Estate, to set up our camp for the day.  This magical forest area is surrounded by bluebells, wild garlic, wildlife, meadows and trees aplenty.   Interested to visit the site?  

Pick up and breakfast club drop off is at Stoke Park Primary School (Romney Avenue entrance) in BS7 9TG, just 4 minutes drive from Bishopston and 10 minutes from Bristol City Centre.  There is parking on Romney Avenue near our entrance gate.


Find out more about our Open Days or Contact Us.

Please note our playgroup and holiday camp take place at a different site.  Check emails for details.

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