What will the children be doing?

Although each Forest School session will follow a regular format, the children will be introduced to a wide range of activities which they can explore and play with as they choose. Forest School follows a ‘child led’ ethos enabling children to explore their interests, whilst receiving an appropriate level of support where this is needed. In this way new skills are gradually developed and learnt. All the activities encourage children to explore the natural environment for the development of a healthy mind and body, social skills and a love for the natural world.

Activities may include:

  • Using tools and outdoor cooking
  • Hunting for mini-beasts and/or pond dipping
  • Tree identification
  • Sensory games – blindfold games
  • Team games, circle games, problems solving activities
  • Following trails – looking for clues
  • Imaginative activities – role play, singing, stories and acting out
  • Natural crafts – making necklaces from elder, crowns or dream catchers from willow, collages from natural resources, weaving with long grasses, tree cookies etc.
  • Mud sculptures
  • Planting trees and wildflowers
  • Shelter building and knot tying
  • Physical play – Tree/log climbing, balancing, digging

What will the children need to bring to Forest School?

Forest School sessions will run all year round and in all weather conditions (unless weather conditions are dangerous). Appropriate clothing will be needed depending upon the season.

In the winter the following items may be needed:

  • Wellies
  • Long trousers
  • 3 long sleeved layers on top
  • A waterproof all in one suit
  • Socks, hat and gloves
  • A small rucksack
  • A small bottle (non-breakable) of water
  • A spare set of clothes just in case

In the summer:

  • Sturdy trainers.
  • Lighter layers of clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and trainers
  • Sun hat and sun cream
  • A small rucksack
  • A small (non-breakable) bottle of water
  • A spare set of clothes just in case

It is expected that children (and sometimes adults too!) will get dirty. Please use old clothes. The Forest School Leader will ensure that there is an adequate supply of spare clothes in case of emergency.

Cancellation procedures.

There may be times when Forest School sessions have to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. These may include:

  • Staff illness – which prevents staff/child ratios being met
  • Severe weather conditions
  • Any situation that poses a health and safety risk

In the event of cancellation we will inform parents, helpers and staff as soon as possible, via telephone.

We endeavour to provide Forest School sessions whenever possible but reserve the right to cancel if appropriate safety conditions cannot be met.

Behaviour management

Although the Forest School experience is all about child led learning it is important to set ground rules within the group so that everyone is safe. Within our Forest School we to try and encourage the children to establish their own ground rules so that they take ownership of any safety restrictions.

Rules and agreed codes of behaviour include:

  • Boundaries. How far are the children allowed to go?
  • Fire safety rules – to be adhered to even when unlit
  • Sticks need to be dragged not carried
  • Do not put fingers in mouth
  • Never eat anything you find in the woods
  • Always wash your hands before eating and drinking
  • Ask an adult if needing the toilet or wanting to use tools

Research shows that Forest School experiences have a positive impact on children’s social and emotional development, with some teachers and parents reporting huge improvements in their children’s attention and behaviour once they are back in the classroom or at home. This may be because the being outside not only allows an increase in physical space, but has been shown to have a calming effect on the brain. ADHD symptoms are not as apparent when children are playing in natural space.

If you would like to find out more about Busy Bees Forest School please contact the Forest School Leader Lorna Barker at Busy Bees: 01638 718249

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