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Inclusion in forest school


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Deep breath... I am nervous about a child who will be joining our forest school group in September.

The child is waiting for a speech/communication assessment. We are able to offer 1:1 support in the nursery with a small amount of discretionary funding, and it is working well.

However, come September there is no additional funding in place. The child has booked to attend our forest school sessions twice a week. I am worried for her safety and also worried about compromising the safety of others. the child does not respond to instruction consistently, we use visual cue cards but the response is inconsistent. In the nursery, the child is safe, but in the open woods I'm less confident.

The woods we use have public access through them, with our boundaries in place and instruction on safe words etc, this has never been a problem.

 

How inclusive is it to place a child in a situation where the child may not be safe?

Thoughts welcome!

 

 

 

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Interestingly, its often children with speech/communication problems who benefit most from our forest area.

 

When we started our sessions we wrongly assumed the stereotypical 'boisterous boys' would get the most from being out in the woods but its been a learning curve for us seeing quiet,unassuming girls gain hugely from being in this environment.

 

Children with speech and communication problems often find the fact the there are less fixed boundaries and more natural resources in a wider area, a great help in their development.

 

Clearly, you will have to monitor the situation very carefully, but I would encourage you to 'give it a go'.

Try not to enforce too many expectations too soon. There is no reason you cant use visual clues in the forest - actually I think that's a great idea.

 

It might be that the first couple of weeks you do have to 1-1 but hopefully the environment will really suit her needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was going to say just the same as Jazzy. I have noticed that children with speech and communication do benefit greatly from FS sessions. I completely agree with giving it a go too, lay your ground rules as usual and where possible use a 1-1 for the first few sessions.

We had a child who didn't have any specific learning difficulties but as a homeschooled child was used to leading and could be described as a live wire, I was concerned about him listening to and following instructions and being able to be safe during sessions However after a few sessions in the woods he was a different child and responded incredibly well to Instructions and routines.

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