The Northern Ireland Forest School Association (NIFSA), is the lead organisation in developing and delivering Forest School programmes throughout Northern Ireland. An independent charity set up in 2008.
Forest School sessions take place either within your own school grounds, your local Council Park or woodland. You do not need hundreds of acres of ancient forest to get involved or travel miles by minibus to find a suitable site.
Forest Schools have been shown to improve pupils' physical and mental health, develop greater self-confidence, improve speech and communication and encourage greater team work and creative thinking skills. The Education Training Inspectorate have observed NIFSA Forest School sessions and have welcomed their inclusion in the school curriculum. It is an ideal way to deliver the World Around Us and 95% of other curriculum related topics.
NIFSA have worked with over 50 Nursery and Primary Schools across Northern Ireland, supported over 24,000 pupils learning outside the classroom and awarded Forest School Leader Level 3 qualifications to over 25 teachers.
NIFSA is holding a series of promotional events in different Council areas. The events will focus on...
1. the Forest School Awards. An opportunity to get free Forest School training through your local Council. - Link to Home page
2. the Distance Learning Forest School Programme - an affordable method to become a Forest School. - Link to Distance Learning page
3. Learning About Forests (LEAF) - NIFSA is the National Operator in Northern Ireland for delivering LEAF. Eco-Schools complimentary programme. As an extra bonus, schools will receive LEAF accreditation through undertaking the Forest School Programme.
4. NIFSA Membership - getting qualified as a Forest School is only the beginning of your journey. Find out about becoming a NIFSA Member.