What is the 10 Years Forest School in DSP project? 

In March 2025 we’ll be celebrating 10 years of DSP Forest School. To mark this huge milestone for our community, we are hoping to create resources in the next 12 months that record our journey and support others to offer outdoor learning to more children. Below are our ideas and we hope to use your contributions to make this rich and meaningful.  

  1. Book that is a record of ten years of Forest school in DSP.  Mainly for the DSP community and for those with a keen interest in Forest school.  To include: Origin story, descriptive blogs, case studies, parent feedback, staff stories, children’s stories, photographs.
  2. Pamphlet for other schools. Inspiration and information for setting up outdoor learning in other schools.  
  3. Video helping others understand what forest school is and its benefits.
  4. Session plans – Series of 8 session plans linked with the Irish curriculum to support teachers in a practical way to get started with Forest school.  One set on Irish mammals for Autumn, one set on native flowers for Spring time.  
  5. Website – easy, accessible centre point for all above resources.
  6. Launch event – March 2025 (First session in DSP was Friday 20th March 2015!) To launch the above resources. 

This project is being led by a committee including Jenny Dungan and Liz McMahon from the DSP Forest School team and Sarah Sheeran and Yuuki Blakeney the PTA Chairs 23/24. It is being supported by Principal Miriam Hurley and school staff. 

Parent gathering

We had a wonderful evening gathering and sharing stories about the effects Forest school has had on the children in DSP over the last ten years.

Below are some of the ideas and stories we have started to gather on the 7th February. And we would love to hear more. We’ll be sending an online option for gathering these stories around soon.  

  • My child loves being dirty and putting berries on her face
  • The favorite memory of my child was making leafy angels – lying down on the falling leaves and moving her arms. I think she loved the sense of freedom. 
  • Forest School helped them unleash energy.  
  • Forest School gives somewhere to express themselves, and be free to be themselves
  • Whenever we go to Kiiliney Hill, my children talk about “Base camp” and want to go through the woods rather than the paths. He loves exploring and sharing his favorite secret places.  
  • Children talking to one another about their basecamp and dens they made. They were aware of other groups’ basecamps too. 
  • He shows love and caring for nature, which is not from us. 
  • My child likes to find woodlice in the house now. 
  • My child is more interested in nature around them. He likes to find flowers of different colours
  • Nature sparks up creativity.
  • At the parent session, children loved looking after their parents. They were proud to show their space
  • How empowered children were by forest school.  They had pride in the knowledge they gained and liked sharing it with people outside of Forest school..  
  • They raised their own questions and came up with solutions.  
  • Forest school gives opportunities for risky play. It is so important to be able to feel anxiety and learn how to overcome it.  
  • My child didn’t have confidence because of lack of English, and also he was not good at sitting still in the classroom. Forest School helped him to get confidence and he communicated better through play.  
  • It gives opportunities to build friendships. 
  • Forest School changed the relationship between teachers and children too. It allows teachers to observe the children and understand them from different perspectives. 
  • There was an increase in wanting to learn things and asking questions.  And also coming up with possibilities.  They weren’t worried about being wrong.  


We look forward to hearing more stories from our community in the next few weeks. We would really appreciate you filling in this questionnaire. It helps capture the importance of this type of learning and therefore helps it to continue. Thank you so much.


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