Risk Management and the benefits of risk taking at forest school
“It is argued that taking risks can have positive implications in terms of children’s developmental, social and emotional needs, as well as their overall health. By providing the opportunities for children to manage their own risks in a controlled environment, they will learn vital life skills needed for adulthood, and gain the experience needed to face the unpredictable nature of the world.” (Gill, 2007)
One of the main principles of Forest school is allowing learners to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves – we all need to take risks in everything we do and allowing young learners opportunities to explore risks develops resilience, confidence, independence and self-esteem as well as physical, communication and social skills which can have a ripple effect on later life. Forest school can be the ideal place to explore these risks such as climbing their first tree, tool use, fire lighting and foraging.
All our activities are risk assessed considering the risk benefit and management. Potential risks are discussed with learners, while we work with them to find ways for them to develop but also remain safe. Our risk assessments can be seen on request.