‘Forest School makes an outstanding contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ – OFSTED report 2012
Forest School has maximum impact when it is reinforced over time. For that reason Ironwood Forest School would relish the opportunity to work with a class over a half-term or longer. We are able to offer a 6 week programme tailored to your needs; whether you would like us to link in with a particular theme or topic, or whether your objectives are more about improving team-work and raising self-esteem within your class; we are happy to discuss a range of options.
While the emphasis is on each session being learner led, there will be a structure to the day, and there will always be an activity which develops a practical skill (e.g. tool use, craft, fire or cooking), an element of creative exploration, some nature appreciation or identification, and opportunities for free play. While we do cook small snacks on most days, the children will need to bring their own packed lunch. On the last day we cook a vegetarian meal for the group to share.
Forest School enables the children to build confidence and self-awareness through taking measured risk. Underpinning this is always a focus on safety and wellbeing, and expectations for behaviour and the boundaries are reinforced within each session so that every participant feels safe.
Most schools find that 15 children at each session is ideal, so where possible we would recommend that the class is split, half coming to our site in the morning (e.g. 9.30-12.00), and half in the afternoon (12.30- 15.00). This may provide an extra opportunity for smaller group focussed intervention work at school while the other half are at our site. However, we do of course appreciate that this may not be possible, and the whole class will need to attend together. Both situations are workable, so do contact us to discuss this in more detail.
We will aim to provide at least 2 members of staff to deliver the session, but we would also require the school to provide at least 2 adults for a group of 15 (or 1:10 as the minimum adult:child ratio for larger groups).
The children will need to bring a backpack containing:
- lots of layers for warmth
- waterproof trousers and jacket.
- Hat and gloves (October – April)
- water bottle
- packed healthy lunch (no fizzy drinks and limited sugar please)
- spare socks
- any personal medications
- sunscreen and sunhat (May-September)
You will also need to inform us of any special dietary, medical, learning or behavioural needs of individuals participating.
Please be aware that the day includes a 20 minute walk to the site along a rough track.
Activity plans and risk assessments are available to share with you prior to the session, again please ask for these to be forwarded to you.
We are sometimes able to offer a free taster day, do contact us to discuss available dates for these, and the price for the half-term programme, which will depend on your group size.