Totternhoe C.E. Academy

With God’s love, we seek adventure with our minds and find a home for our hearts

Forest School

Wonderwood Forest School

Forest School Leaders: Mrs Mitchelmore and Miss Needham, assisted by  Mrs  Colomb and Miss Smith

Weekly Forest School sessions will last approx. 1- 1 1/2  hours, depending on the group.  We aim to give children  as much time as possible in each session. During these times there will be time to play some games, use tools, make dens, leave trails, go on scavenger hunts, make environmental art, cook on fires, develop existing skills and learn new ones…


What is Forest School?

The guiding principles of Forest School have been developed over time, based on a foundation of outdoor learning going back to the 19th century. Philosophers, naturalists and educators from Europe and the UK, from this period onwards, contributed to what is today recognised as Forest School.
​The Forest School Association website provides detailed information about the history of Forest School see:
It defines Forest School as: ‘an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.’


Forest School sessions form an integral part of the broad, balanced curriculum we offer here at Totternhoe CE Academy, and take place as part of our timetabled learning, outdoors.


Forest School offers opportunities  to experience the natural environment, in nearly all weathers, and all year round,  where children learn through practical activities in the outdoor environment.   

In Forest School, children will develop  skills of independence , perseverance and resilience.  They will develop social and communication skills  in teamwork and cooperative tasks, have freedom to explore, make choices,  take calculated risks, develop skills in  using tools and  explore being creative in our Wonderwood area.

Forest School activities will enable the children to enhance and deepen their understanding across the curriculum, particularly in science, art, DT, maths, geography and literacy.

Mental well-being has been found to improve when more time is spent in the freedom and space of the outdoors.


Forest School 2021 - 2022

Our Forest School timetable has been planned to  accommodate timetabling of  other curriculum areas through the year, and  to give groups opportunities to experience the outdoors and the Wonderwood environment in different seasons.
All year groups will have some sessions throughout the year.  
Proposed timetable: (subject to change)
EYFS & Key Stage 1 Timetable: COMING SOON

Autumn 1: 

Autumn 2: 

Spring 1: 

Spring 2: 

Summer 1: 

Summer 2: 


Key Stage 2 Timetable:

Autumn 1: Year 5

Autumn 2: Year 6

Spring 1: Year 4

Spring 2: Year 3 Group A

Summer 1: Year 3 Group B

Summer 2: Catch up sessions/ additional sessions

​Miss Needham leads sessions for EYFS & KS1 and Mrs Mitchelmore leads sessions for KS2. 


Hazel Class Year 6  Autumn 2020

16.10.20 Completing our bird boxes - almost!

​This week we were able to put together the sawn pieces of wood, using hammer and nails! We worked very sensibly and no-one bashed their fingers/thumbs!!
Mr Colomb had kindly pre-drilled one piece of each set of 4, for an opening for the birds. We used sandpaper to smooth this opening so as not to harm the birds, flying in and out!
Just a top and bottom to fit now - and kind Mrs C will sort that out for us. We hope to be able to put these up in Wonderwood after half term, in readiness for the winter/spring.
Great progress with measuring accurately, sawing, and  fixing neatly with nails.
Our last week, sadly! Some delicious hot chocolate finished off our session.



Year 6 braved the elements today! We managed to erect the gazebo in the den area, hoping to provide a bit of shelter for ourselves, from the wind and rain. We still got pretty soggy! Our intrepid team harvested a good crop of apples and some damsons, and enjoyed our hot chocolate (very chocolatey this week!!) in the pavilion.
​Our eagle-eyed Leah spotted a common newt amongst the grass on our wandering to the damson tree. Great observational skills!! Mrs C picked it up and we could see all the markings and colourings at close quarters- spotted and with a yellow/orange underbelly. It felt a bit tickly, apparently!
Newts are amphibians, and can live on land and in water, and are cold-blooded, which means that their body temperature is determined by their environment, and not regulated internally. We thought about their diet,  and decided they were probably carnivores. We were right!
Newts are carnivores. They eat slugs, worms, small invertebrates, amphibian eggs and insects on land. Tadpoles, shrimp, aquatic insects, insect larvae and molluscs are on the menu in the water.

Blossom and Cherry Classes have begun Forest School session

We have been playing games to explore the Wonderwood and  learn  where the boundaries are and how we can keep safe . The children have found and investigated lots of natural materials.  

Information for Parents


Each week, children will need:
Wellingtons/strong footwear             
Long trousers
Long sleeved top
Waterproof coat (and trousers if available)
Hat, gloves, scarf, thick socks – if cool/cold
Sunhat/sunscreen – if warm and sunny
Old clothes are perfectly suitable – we will be getting grubby, and possibly damp, being outdoors!

Please ensure that you have given consent (using form on Parent Pay) before the start of your child's FS sessions (see above timetable and letter for specific dates).
Thank you.
Mrs Mitchelmore (FSL)