Forest School

Forest School

Forest School takes place weekly in the same woodland location with the same group of participants over 6-8 weeks.

This allows familiarity with the environment
and a sense of community to develop.

Forest School allows participants to engage in fun and motivating activities beneath the trees, designed to instil a sense of achievement and to foster a deeper connection to the natural world. The uniqueness of the individual is valued and a high leader to child ratio ensures that each voice is heard and individual needs are met. Veronica and Gráinne, qualified Forest School Leaders, run and oversee all activities. Our programmes are developed using a process of planning-session-observation-review to ensure that what we offer remains fresh and engaging for our participants.

Activities we offer include:

  • den building
  • storytelling
  • nature art and crafts
  • scavenger hunts
  • bug hunts
  • fire-lighting
  • tool-use
  • rope swing and low ropes
  • organised games
  • imaginative freeplay

Woodlands are rich environments for play and learning, a place where children have opportunities to engage in the risky play vital to their development in an appropriate and supported way.

Our current Forest School Programmes cater for children aged 4-6 years, 5-9 years and 10-12 years. They take place in John O’Sullivan Park, Lee’s Road, Ennis and in East Clare.

Irish Forest School Association logo

Happy Out Forest School is a member of the Irish Forest School Association (IFSA).
We adhere to IFSA’s Key Principles of Forest School outlined below.


Regular sessions
Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.


Woodland setting
Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.


Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development, and learning.


Holistic development
Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.


Opportunity to take risks
Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.


Qualified practitioners
Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.