Woodland Activities with Schools

Woodland Activities with Schools

Outdoor activities with schools to help them become more aware of their local environment and improve their wellbeing

ELGT have developed a programme of environmental education using urban woodlands. Our focus is to work with primary school classes in areas of deprivation which is designated within SIMD 0-20% most deprived areas in Scotland.  We believe that activities following the Forest Schools ethos will bring benefits to primary school class groups, particular those in need of additional support.

The philosophy of Forest School is to encourage and inspire through positive outdoor experiences and hands-on learning in a woodland environment. The main goals of Forest Schools include encouraging curiosity and exploration with all of the senses, empowering children in the natural environment, and encouraging spatial awareness and motor development. Freedom and responsibility, which are a core part of the Forest School sessions, are particularly beneficial to children who have a lack of confidence or demonstrate challenging behaviour. Forest Schools use the woodland as a means to build independence and self esteem, as well as increased social skills such as team-building, cooperation and project planning.

Frogston Primary, Edinburgh

Took part in tree ID, shelter building, clay hedgehogs and making hedgehog habitats.

Bonnyrigg Primary, Midlothian

Making wood cookies, copying nature patterns, bark rubbing and looking for tree clues.

Stoneyhill Primary, East Lothian

Taking part in a scavenger hunt and environmental arts at Newhailes NTS Estate


St Thomas Primary in Addiewell West Lothian

Making Mandalas using natural materials

St Josephs and Polkemmet Primary Schools in West Lothian

Making mandalas and tree measuring

Pilrig Park School

Using the woodland area within the school grounds to run a programme that includes sensory activities, getting to know trees, tasting elderberry syrup, arts and crafts and some conservation work. The class have been enjoying the sessions and have been noticing the changing seasons.


Teaching staff have commented that some of the young people have enjoyed being outside and learning about their local nature.

Funded by: Walter Scott Partners, City of Edinburgh Council- Children & Families


  • Deliver 4 programmes with schools across the region
  • Work with a target of 25 children in a class
  • Work with approximately 2 members of staff to improve their skills and confidence
  • Deliver 8 outdoor education sessions per programme
  • Provide each class with an activity pack so they can carry out their own sessions
  • Work with Special schools to deliver a programme of 6 outdoor activities


  • Enable young people to interact with nature
  • Encouraging young people to learn about their local greenspaces and wildlife
  • Increase the confidence of teachers to develop more regular outdoor activities
  • Increase safety awareness of oneself and others
  • Promote environmental awareness
  • Reduce impact of vandalism/ litter in open woodlands by encouraging socially-responsible behaviour
  • Improve children’s listening, communication, negotiation, verbal and social skills.
  • Improve children’s positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
  • Promote Forest School programme to the school as a way to engage children and young people in their local woodland, supporting pupils’ emotional intelligence