Is the team qualified?
- Our team have experience in early years education, child care, outdoor learning, environment conservation and all of our staff and volunteers are DBS checked. We have a range of qualifications including Level 3 Practitioners Award, BA(Hons) in Childhood studies, Environmental Conservation and Paediatric and Outdoor First Aid. Our staff and volunteers are always expanding their skills and knowledge through personal development training.
What will my child be learning?
- The sessions we run are very relaxed, free flowing sessions that are largely planned around the children and their interests. Therefore we do not have a curriculum that we follow, but provide opportunities for the children to take ownership of their own play and learning.
- Our outdoor learning opportunities help to build confidence; social skills; communication; physical skills; motivation and concentration; and knowledge and understanding. We do this by allowing the children to explore their environment on their own or with others, taking risks to achieve their desired outcomes in safe ways.
- As we are learning in the outdoors some of the opportunities we provide are based around the seasons such as bug hunting, pond dipping, nature walks, leaf rubbings, den building, leaf identification and natural arts and crafts.
What are the benefits?
Please see our Benefits and Research page for more details of the benefits of outdoor learning and Forest School.
What happens on a normal day?
- We walk together to the space we will be using in the woodland and talk about the boundaries and rules to keep us safe.
- We play a game or two to help the children familiarise themselves with their environment and then talk about what we would like to do for the session which is led by the children.
- We may have a theme for the day that follows the seasons and creates a springboard for learning.
- Activities include a mix of games, hands on experiences including tool work and arts and crafts, woodland adventures like nature trails and den building, and storytelling.
What to wear / bring?
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Hat (sun or woolly)
- Warm clothing
- Spare clothing
- Sun cream
- Insect repellant
- Wellies or sturdy shoes
How about safety?
- Our leaders are trained to facilitate controlled risk taking like tree climbing and tool work to allow children the opportunity to learn in a safe environment
- As part of our session we talk about how to keep ourselves safe.
- We risk assess activities and the woodland on a regular basis
What about the weather?
- We will only cancel if it is too windy go to into the woods or if there is a high chance of lightning and we will contact you at least 2 hours before the session.
Can I leave my child?
- Under 3 years- parents/guardians/carers are asked to stay with the child/ren for the session (this is under 5 if attending a holiday play scheme) 3 years and over- children may be left with our experienced leaders.
Do you support children with additional needs?
- We can accommodate children with additional needs and will discuss this with you before the session and talk any concerns you may have.
How long are the sessions?
- Typically our sessions run for 2 hours. Our holiday play schemes are normally 4 hours.
Can we just turn up or do we need to pre-book?
- As we have a staff:child ratio it is important that you book your child onto a session. If you are booked on and can’t make it please contact us so that we can offer the place to others.