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Forest Schools/outdoor Provision


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  • 1 year later...

Love those photos. Thanks for putting them on.

 

We'd like to make a fire pit on our field. Does anyone know how to do it? Do we need to get the fire officer in before we do it? Do yo need special training to use one (someone told me this is necessary???)

 

thanks

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Thank you for your reply (I think). I am not stupid and do realise some training is necessary and did do some years ago but have just returned to foundation stage after some time out and wondered what current specific training was available/necessary. More to do with legal requirements (if any)/risk assessments. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough but I really don't find the content or tone of your comment constructive or helpful.

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Hi Julie

 

Knowing Catma as a long standing member of the forum can I reassure you that you may have misunderstood the tone of her post. I agree had she added a smiley at the end you would have known she was joking but she certainly wasn't suggesting you would do something that might be a health and safety issue.

 

It can be tricky when posting on a forum sometimes, when we are face to face we can see a smile or hear a giggle but words written can be read so many different ways hence the smilies to indicate tone :o

 

Can your LA advisory team offer any advise re the current legal requirements?

 

I am sure someone cleverer than me will be along soon to help xD

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Hi Julie

 

Not sure what type of setting you are in, I am just doing my forest school leaders and have started forest school activities, but thought you would be interested to know that in our nursery our insurance will not cover any fire based activities until I have completed my qualification. So I think it may be a good idea to start with your insurance company.

 

Footychick

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Hi all,

Im quite new to this site and was very interested in your forest school/outdoor provision discussion. At the moment I am currently studying for my foundation degree, im in my second year and have been asked to choose a research project. I have choosen to research about forest schools and whether we are using them enough in schools in England. I would just like to have some feedback about your opinions on this, and would appreciate if any one could help me generate some interview questons i could ask schools regarding whether or not we use the forest school approach enough and how they use it.

:o many thanks Clare

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at my previous work place only one member of staff did any forest school training of which the outcome was to visit local woods every term but only with parents escorting their children , so it was a choice whether to attend , it was great for those parents who wanted to and would do this anyway with their children but did not always reach the target group it was probably intended for and after a while some got fed up with being expected to come , as did the staff because it was always in our free time.

The concept is great but still think ideas need to planned properly and varied as much as possible , I believe Forest school concepts are more beneficial to slightly older children especially boys , that is not to say it is not for eyfs settings but if you are going to doit , do it in the right environment ie the woods you need the staffing otherwise you are just adapting what is normal play in the garden.

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Hi all,

Im quite new to this site and was very interested in your forest school/outdoor provision discussion. At the moment I am currently studying for my foundation degree, im in my second year and have been asked to choose a research project. I have choosen to research about forest schools and whether we are using them enough in schools in England. I would just like to have some feedback about your opinions on this, and would appreciate if any one could help me generate some interview questons i could ask schools regarding whether or not we use the forest school approach enough and how they use it.

:o many thanks Clare

 

I know of 2 day nurseries that go to their local woods daily with the babies in buggies, the toddlers and the pre-school children. They have snack time and then free play where they climb, pretend and some times have fires to heat their hot drinks. It is great watching the toddlers climb up slopes and over logs. Some private schools also have forest schools and even there the 2 year olds have their weekly session. (wish it was more). I only know of one maintained school and they have only just started theirs. If done well e.g the children can risk take, use their imagination using only forest resources, have challenges set, then I think it is great for all children but if it is used as just a walk to their fire circle, which is then used as a carpet teaching knowledge session and then the children are set a task, I think it will be a great waste of an opportunity to build children's wellbeing and resilience.

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Hi all,

Im quite new to this site and was very interested in your forest school/outdoor provision discussion. At the moment I am currently studying for my foundation degree, im in my second year and have been asked to choose a research project. I have choosen to research about forest schools and whether we are using them enough in schools in England. I would just like to have some feedback about your opinions on this, and would appreciate if any one could help me generate some interview questons i could ask schools regarding whether or not we use the forest school approach enough and how they use it.

:o many thanks Clare

 

There is quite a bit of research out there already on Forest School which might be worth looking at to give you some ideas here are some of the references from my dissertation which was on creativity at Forest School

 

Borradaile, L. (2006) Forest School Scotland: an Evaluation. Available at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk

Charman, C & Ambrose, L. (2009), Surlingham Primary Dispositional Evaluation: Norfolk Schools Cased Studies www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk/my portal

Fjortoft, I. & Jostein, S. (2000) The Natural Environment as a Playground for Children Landscape Description and Analyses Of A Natural Playscape, Norway. Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning, 48, 83 - 97.

Hughes, F. & Jenner, L. (2007) Pentre Forest School: March-July 200. Ruthin, Forestry Commission Wales.

Knight, S. (2009) Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years. London, SAGE.

Maynard, T. (2007) ‘Making the Best of What You’ve Got’: Adopting and Adapting the Forest School Approach. In: Austin, R. (ed.) Letting the Outside In. Stoke-on-Trent, Trentham Books.

Massey, S. (2004) The Benefits of a Forest School Experience for Children in their Early Years. Worcestershire Local Education Authority.

Murray, R. (2003) Forest School Evaluation Project: a Study in Wales. April to November 2003. London, New Economics Foundation.

Murray, R. & O’Brien, L. (2005) Such Enthusiasm – a Joy to See; An Evaluation of Forest School in England. London, New Economics Foundation

O’Brien, E. & Murray, R. (2006) A Marvellous Opportunity for Children to Learn. A Participatory Evaluation of Forest School in England and Wales. Forest Research, Farnham

O'Brien, L. & Murray, R. (2007). Forest School and its Impacts on Young Children: Case Studies in Britain. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 6, 249 - 265.

Valentine, G. & McKendrick, J. (1997) Children’s Outdoor Play: Exploring Parental Concerns about Children’s Safety and the Changing Nature of Childhood. Geoforum, 28 (2), 219 – 235.

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:o Thank you all soooooooo much for all your comments, i have had some great comments and managed to find some brill articles!

 

Very glad i posted !

 

Thank you Clare xD

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We are a village pre-school and have just opened our forest school - we are two sessions in! We really want to involve the village school as well and when we had an open morning a month ago we had lots of families with infant & primary aged children who would love to come. We have talked with school right from the start when we were in the planning stage 9 months ago but no commitment from them as yet. How do they pay us, the forest school staff? When would a forest school session fit into the school day?

 

Would really like any advice for how others manage to get local schools involved. We can't volunteer our services for free as, since like another post on the forum tonight, we too have had to cut all staff hours and spend the minimum. I already feel that, as manager, I am working for free! Any thoughts and ideas?

 

Anyway the whole point of replying to the post was to say - have you read about this school? They run forest school for all ages very successfully and Ofsted judged them outstanding.

 

Preesall_Good_Practice_Example_new_2_.pdf

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a Forest School Leader and 4 of the staff in the Nursery and one supply staff are trained to level 2 or 3. This was achieved through using the Graduate Leadership funding and by applying for grants to train us all. We are a maintained Nursery and Children's Centre Nursery for 3-4 year olds attached to a school and our Reception class teacher and CA's are also trained. We have our own Forest school site and each class spend one session a week, with a small group of children, at the site. Each lesson is planned to teach skills re using tools and for children to be free to explore and follow their interests. Each group of children has at least 10 sessions in the Nursery and the same in the Reception class.Everyonelooks forward to the sessions and the staff and children come back calm and relaxed. Being in an environment where there are no toys and children play with what is naturally available is wonderful and enabling as there are no pre conceived outcomes for the use of natural resources so everyone achieves. To be able to say you offer Forest School sessions means that you have to have done the training and know about assessing risk in the outdoor environment and the sustainability of your Forest School site.

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Hi I am a reception teacher and a level 3 forest school leader I take my children to a site which we share with the local Playgroup. I love my forest school sessions- last week we found Santa at our forest school and he brought us the makings of a campfire and marshmallows and we toasted them while singing Xmas songs; it was a very special afternoon. I think you need to get the head of the primary school totally on board but to be honest if my school had to pay for a forest school leader each week it wouldn't happen as we are so skint. Similarly we would be loath to pass on that cost to the parents as everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment and we already feel we ask for enough extras with trips etc. If the school are not on board, could you offer forest school as an after school club to begin with for those families who are interested? Another thing that you could do is approach the school with ideas for one off or several sessions that fit in with the curriculum. Our year 1 children for example do a theme called 'lets explore' and they have a one off forest school session where they rienact a polar expedition pulling sleighs and then building shelters at FS and having a campfire. I think that if you approached the school with some examples of planning with learning objectives and some costings for sessions which enhance what happens in school, the school would be more likely to buy into forest school. Before I was trained, my school paid out £2 per child per session per week (£60 per week) to a forest school leader but that was when we had money!

Deb

Deb

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Thank you for your thoughts. It's good to hear what others are doing.

 

Paula - like you we are finding both us, the staff, and the children are on a high after the sessions. It's fantastic - we are at the end of our first five week programme and the fun we've had! The progress the children have made even in this short time is noticeable - confidence, independence, listening and following instructions, observational skills, the rich language, imagination, adventure,... From a 5 week plan that followed the children's interests at it's heart we have also built up to making toasting forks, cooking over a fire, using some tools. It is clear that the children know it is their forest school and they are proud of it already.

 

Deb - thanks for all the info. The crux of it is the funding. Good advice about demonstrating to school how we could link into their topics and themes for different age groups. I think that will be one route for us to investigate. I also agree that we could look at an after school club - once the days start to get longer I think that could be a strong possibility.

 

Great comments and leaves me with lots to consider. It's definitely a long term goal that we will aim for and in the meantime we are having so much fun! :o

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  • 3 months later...

Hi, we embarked on our Forest School project just over a year ago with pre-school age children. It's been a challenge getting everyone on board, committee agreeing to fund it, other staff thinking we're having a jolly in the woods with a small group of children and our site kept getting vandalised! We run two full 2.5 hour sessions a week for a 6 week block. The outcomes have been amazing, would recommend it to anyone!

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The children at Wildflowers Kindergartens are out every morning they attend, all year round.

We started in 2005 and are more of Scandinavian style outdoor nurseries than Forest Schools.

 

www.wildflowers-kindergartens.co.uk

 

One reason for coming back to the building at lunch time is to attract parents who are concerned

about 'getting children ready for school'. Another is that we must be able to charge for the meals

during funded time to cover the higher costs of taking a small group of children to woods, with a

small number of children per adult.

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Hi all

Our Forest school has just celebrated its first birthday. We were lucky enough to get a big lotto grant to cover set up and training costs. We run our forest school year round and it is our most popular session.

 

Wild flowers - Your forest school sounds fab - we currently do one morning a week throughout the year of Forest school. It s so popular we are now looking at how we can expand our service. How do you manage travelling between building and site. Ideally Id love us to be able to offer FS in morning followed by pre-school in the afternoon just not sure of the logistics.

 

Kx

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  • 6 months later...

I thought I would send in photos of some of the things we have been doing this week at Forest school...post-44666-0-66310800-1352664017_thumb.pngpost-44666-0-00526000-1352664066_thumb.jpgpost-44666-0-76864700-1352664093_thumb.pngpost-44666-0-99883600-1352664195_thumb.jpgpost-44666-0-25747900-1352664240_thumb.jpg

 

I just hope all these have attached!!!

 

Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we enjoy going to forest school

 

:-)

lovely picture but could you just explain what they are doing...i'm intrigued????

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Hi Finleysmaid

 

We had been using mirrors to observe similarities and differences in our friends hence the wooden tennis bats made into face collages of our friends!

 

The following week the children noticed a robin at the far side of the woods just watching them play...so we decided to make bird feeders out of cardboard rolls with peanut butter spead onto them for the birds ( and any other animal which climbed the trees!!)

 

The children are looking at books together-social play/baing with friends

 

The 3 boys are balancing on the roots of a huge tree, which they then turned into a bouncing beam they had great fun for about 20mins on these shoots and roots.

 

I will post some more pics soon if you like, this week we are making a xylophone with a mud trench and various sizes of wood!

 

Have fun in the woods :-)

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