I am a Forest School leader and have been running sessions for seven years. I run sessions for all ages and abilities but work mainly with young people and adults with learning difficulties and autism.
The site is a Plantation on an ancient woodland site (PAWS), and it contains a variety of species of trees, ground flora and fungi. There is a wildlife pond on site as well as building projects such as a small cob / cordwood den and a pizza oven which learners have built themselves.
The Forest School ethos is a long term, repetitive experience which uses natural outdoor spaces to promote confidence and self esteem, communication and social skills, trust, emotional growth, independence, a positive attitude to learning, ability to recognise and manage risk, links to the National Curriculum, and a greater understanding and awareness of the natural environment.
- Field Studies: Minibeast hunts, pond dipping, species identification, sensory activities.
- Bush Craft: Shelter building, tying knots, fire lighting and cooking, cordage making, wild woods, whittling, woodland crafts, natural jewellery, weaving, natural dyes, team building and trust games.
- Wildlife Conservation: Tree planting, nest box construction, coppicing, hedgelaying.
- Physical Play: Tree climbing, balancing, log dragging, digging and shelter building.