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“You can find 100 reasons why you shouldn’t start teaching outdoors. There’s health and safety or not enough time in the curriculum. But if you have the belief that it is going to be good for the children, then you can overcome those hurdles.”

Jonathan Teesdale, Principal

The Forest School, Copthill School
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Inspiring outdoor locations in our Forest School turn theory into practice. There are fixed camps, a large tipi, a fort, small shelters and other worlds to explore, and children are encouraged through the mastery of outdoor tasks to grow in self-esteem and confidence, while learning in a fun and stimulating way, undertaking outdoor science experiments, geography fieldwork or history exploration.

We believe that the inspirational opportunities, as well as the obvious benefits for health, mental wellbeing and fitness, will leave a lasting impression on our pupil’s childhoods and extend well into adult life. This is what we fervently believe. This is what we strive to achieve.

Our holistic approach is called Enriched External Learning (EEL) and it permeates all areas of school life for all age groups. It’s designed to encourage pupils to benefit from the opportunities and wonder of the outdoors; and they never fail to rise to the challenges they encounter.

Like many adults, Jonathan Teesdale felt that his childhood experiences benefitted from endless hours spent exploring and playing outdoors. When he came across the Forest School idea he was excited, realising that the perfect facilities at Copthill would allow all pupils to enjoy this unique and rewarding style of learning.

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Our pupils go out in all weathers as we believe there is no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing!

Over time, the Forest School department has grown and developed into one that has been described as an outstanding facility by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The Forest School, Copthill School