Forest School

Our Forest School sessions run alternate half-terms for children in Meadow and Hillside Class

and every Wednesday for children in Forest Class. 

Please send appropriate outdoor clothing along with wellingtons or boots.

At Kettleshulme St James we value the dimension which Forest School sessions bring to our curriculum and more importantly the way that the sessions enhance the experiences which they expose our children too.

It is during these sessions that our children learn the true value of our natural environment, the importance of caring for it and also the skills to name the trees, plants, creatures and habitats around them.

In addition to this our children also use this opportunity to develop their confidence, resilience, connection with the outdoors and their ability to work as a team in a space where all academic restraints are removed thus making everyone equal. 

Our sessions are led by Rachel Browne, who is a trained Forest School leader and she is supported by Mrs Connick.

Sessions for Forest Class take place in our Quiet Garden and around the edges of our school field,

Sessions for Meadow Class and Hilside Class take place at Clayton Christmas Tree Farm which is a15 minute walk away. 

During our sessions the children have the chance to:

Use a variety of tools

Complete challenges

Light fires

Make and cook campfire food

Explore and play

Gather around the fire

Reflect on nature and their environment

Work together

Solve problems

AND much much more!


Please take a few minutes to listen to this wonderful Forest School Poem


Rachel Browne is our Forest School Leader - Here is her story:

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It’s a few years ago now that I had a chance conversation with Mrs Bellshaw at the bottom of a dry ski slope whilst watching the Beaver Scouts learning how to snow-plough. I recollect her telling me she’d done her Forest School training and it was one of the best training courses she’d done as a teacher. This set me on a journey of discovery that I’m so grateful for.

I’ve always been an outdoorsy person and a lot of my free time is spent walking, running and being out and about. I’ve had a life-long association with Scouts and Guides too which has given me so many opportunities for outdoor adventures. We’re extremely fortunate to have our own woodlands in Wales and Shropshire that we manage for wildlife and just to enjoy being in with family and friends. I’m very aware from my own experience of the benefits for mental health of being outdoors, there’s not many situations that can’t be improved by just going outside, even just for a few minutes.

And so the journey began with my Forest School Leader training which I started in September 2016. I met some amazing people, and even had the privilege of training alongside my sister. Since completing the training I’ve worked in facilitating Forest School sessions alongside teaching in a number of schools. Then in September 2018 I was lucky enough to start working in a fully outdoor preschool where I worked until it closed at the end of 2023. Being fully immersed in the woodland setting in all weathers and for whole days was truly transformative and the ability to be child-led with the freedom of time and space was a wonderful experience.

It was no surprise to find that outdoor learning was such an integral part of the ethos at Kettleshulme, what a special place of learning this is! I’m really looking forward to sharing lots more outdoor experiences as part of team Kettleshulme. The journey continues!

Kettleshulme St JamesCE (VA) Primary School

Macclesfield Road,
Kettleshulme Cheshire SK23 7QU

School Administrator | Rachel Blood
01663 738020
Kettleshulme St James CE (VA) Primary School Logo

‘With The Lord by our side, we build inner strength and create a loving family where all individuals can soar high’John 10:10

Headteacher | SENDCo
Alicia Bellshaw