Woodlands Forest School

Primary and secondary pupils can explore exciting outdoor learning experiences at our new Woodlands Forest School. It includes access to our 10-hectare Nature Reserve on the Stoke-on-Trent campus, which features a pond, river, wood and wildflower meadow. We also have a garden area alongside our carbon neutral building.

The sessions are part of our vision to become a groundbreaking centre for outdoor teaching, learning and research. Local schools can draw on this amazing resource to put sustainability into a real-life context for children.

The activities – which bring a forest experience to the heart of Stoke-on-Trent – will help to improve young people’s confidence, motivation and wellbeing. Children will also:

  • Become guardians of nature
  • Build their skills and ambition
  • Use exploratory learning

Over time, we will also be offering activities for the local community, placement opportunities for University students, and training courses for outdoor educators. Our Institute of Education experts will lead research into best practice with outdoor learning.

Future opportunities include supporting the Department for Education’s Climate Leaders and National Education Nature Park initiatives. These will give schoolchildren the chance to earn awards for their environmental work and to champion biodiversity.

Schools keen to use our Woodlands Forest School can now register their interest. We will be offering flexible options, including half-day and full-day sessions.

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Our offer to primary schools

The sessions are aimed at Year 2 to Year 6 classes and can be tailored to the needs of the school and individual children.

They can carry out a range of investigations, explore diverse habitats and study minibeasts. Other typical activities include nature walks, meadow sweeping, log rolling, and creating art and sculptures.

Our Woodlands Forest School is an ideal way to introduce children to the natural world and how humans interact with nature. It enables them to negotiate risks, develop their motor skills and take part in more creative learning and our place in the natural world.

Fabulous team of forestry experts!

Year 3 met Dr Jane and her fabulous team of forestry experts. Our trip to the forest school was great because we were able to make links with our past topic about plants, because we were looking at how different plants grow in different areas and we also thought about the natural foods the Early Britons might have hunted for. Everyone in Year 3 would like to say a huge thank you to the team at Staffordshire University for such an amazing day!

Year 3 Class Blog

St Mark's Primary School

Our offer to secondary schools and alternative education providers

These activities will help to promote young people’s wellness and mental health. Students can spend time outdoors on more practical activities, away from the confines of the traditional classroom environment.

Whether you want to enrich your school’s Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum, or help students settle into secondary life, it’s great for team-building activities.

We can also tailor sessions to groups with additional needs and young people involved in alternative education who would benefit from a more personalised approach. Our Woodlands Forest School is fully inclusive.

For older students, there’s the opportunity for subject-specific field studies too.

Register your interest

If you would like us to get in touch with you once we have an offering for schools, then please submit the form with your details.

  • Name

Enjoying time in the great outdoors

Learning new skills

Nature based crafts and creating

Forest school creations

Investigating nature

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021