What is Forest School?

Forest School is an educational process that supports holistic development of children through a mix of child initiated play, exploration and learning.  

Through careful observation and positive encouragement, Forest School builds on the skills shown by the children. The Forest school leader matches activities with preferred styles of learning which sets children up to succeed. This accelerates learning, develops self-confidence and promotes self-esteem. 

Aims of Forest School 

  • To support the social and emotional development of children through the guise of play in a natural outdoor environment. 

  • To support the physical and mental development of children through active games, tasks and problem solving activities. 

  •  To build self-confidence and self-esteem in children and young people.

  • To give children and young people the skills and tools to succeed and be happy. 

What is a typical day like?

Different people bring different skills and interests to the group, so every day is completely different.  The seasons and weather affect how the woods are explored too so even returning groups have a different experience the next time they visit.  All sessions start with introductions and some ice breakers, then we talk about  some health and safety.  If there are some returning members, we will have a recap and see what the outstanding memories of their previous visits were.  Then we will have a discussion about any wishes or ideas for the day.  Attendees are encouraged to work with others or individually - however they seem most comfortable and as their interests grow and confidence blossoms, we introduce the safe use of tools or alternative ways to have success with the challenge they are facing.  We encourage the attendees to make something to take home but it is all down to their choice. 

At the end of the session, we will regroup, have a chat about the day and discuss highs and lows, how things could be different and what they would do next time.  

At the heart of the woods there is a base camp where a fire is burning.  This is where most instruction takes place and where things can be left.  Tools are kept here and food such as marshmallows, sausages and hot chocolate are prepared.  

Clothing
The weather is pretty decent at the moment, but anything can happen. The tree canopy gives a lot of cover, so we would recommend light long sleeved tops and light trousers to protect from nettles and brambles.
• Sturdy shoes or wellies (not too wet at the moment)
• Wind proof or warm outer shell (just in case)
• Sun cream/ bug spray to be applied before arrival please (the trees offer great protection from the sun)
• A little bag to store all these things may be useful.
We will supply gloves for using tools and we will have a hand sanitation area.


Toilets
There is no ‘formal’ toilet! So be prepared for wild wees Try and go at home before you arrive if this is a step too far into the wilderness…


Food and drink
Bring lunch and some water. There will be extra water and something extra to snack on provided by us too. If you wish to bring food to prepare on the fire, feel free. Please be aware of food allergies that you or others may have especially if sharing food.


Photo consent:
We would love to take some photos during the session. These will only be used for our website or promotional information and we will try hard to take photos of the groups where their identity would be hard to recognise. If you do not wish to have photos taken please let us know when we meet or via email. If you would like any of the photos that you see us use, please ask.

Covid-19
In these times, we are more aware of transmission of illnesses. Please, if you or any family member are presenting any of the symptoms the correlate to Covid-19, let us know and refrain from attending the session. During the sessions, attendees will be reminded of social distancing and tools will be sanitised after use. The woodland is one of the safest environments to be in at these times, so as long as we are aware of our own health, everything should be fine.


Again, any special requirements, questions or information, please send us an email:
wildalefs@gmail.com