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Forest School and Coastal School

'Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters,

and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.' 

- John Lubbock



At Drapers Mills we believe everybody should have regular, long-term access to a woodland, coastal or natural environment which provides them with inspirational and challenging outdoor learning opportunities.

Forest School and Coastal School offers a learner centred approach, where participants can learn through self-directed play and exploration. Participants who come to the Forest School and Coastal school will be given the opportunity to develop their curiosity, confidence, self-esteem, creativity, empathy, communication skills, knowledge of the natural environment and ability to assess risk and HAVE FUN!


Emma Thomas who is our Forest School and Coastal School Leader Level 3 Qualified runs our Forest School and is dedicating her passion to launch our Coastal School. 


Our overall plan is to serve our community with our facilities and enthusiasm for outdoor learning for our own children and the children in local schools including those within the TKAT East region. 


Forest and Coastal School Principles:


Forest School and Coastal School follows the same principles: 

*A long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits. 

*Supports the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world

*Aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

*Offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

*Run by qualified Coastal School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

*Uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.




• Woodland management, coastal and nature exploration

• Building dens and other structures

• Games and invitations for imaginative play

• Natural crafts inc fire and cooking in Forest School

• Using tools, such as knives and saws

• Scavenger hunts and adventure

• Seasonal celebrations


We also ask parents to make sure that children are kitted out with wellies, waterproofs and suitable clothing. Forest School takes place whatever the weather unless conditions are dangerous.


Warning: children can get quite muddy!