Forest School

Forest School was developed in Scandinavia in the 1950s. Their philosophy was based on the desire to provide children with an education which encouraged an appreciation of the wider, natural world and responsibility for nature conversation in later life.


Forest School has shown children grow in confidence, develop independence and helps raise children’s self-esteem through small achievable tasks. Above all Forest School is lots of fun!

Forest School ethos:
Child-led
Children are encouraged to manage risks, by walking the boundary and identifying hazards
Children learn through small achievable tasks
It is a sensory experience
Adults are there to facilitate and observe.

Rules of Forest School
Look after your Forest School.
Do not pick anything growing
Do not put your fingers or anything else in your mouth
Stay within the boundary.

Safety
At Harcourt Pre-School our primary concern is for the safety of the children in our care.

A First Aid kit is taken on Forest School outings and is kept in the ‘emergency backpack’ at base camp.

In the event of an accident during Forest School an Accident Form is completed.

In emergency situations, one adult will stay with the child, another will telephone for an ambulance and another will look after the remaining children. A member of staff will accompany the child in the ambulance and will stay with the child until the parent arrives. Our site is close to the Forest Warden’s hut from whom we will enlist assistance if required.
A map and details of the location of the Forest School is kept in the First Aid Kit to assist emergency services in finding the group.

Staffing requirement
Three members of staff.
Two staff will hold current Paediatric First Aid Certificates.
If possible the children’s key person will attend the Forest School session.
At least one member of staff will be trained in Forest School.
One qualified driver

Forest School at Harcourt

When: Three or four times through the year for an extended visit of around three hours.Where: We visit the National Trust part of Leigh Woods or Ashton Court.
How: We hire a minibus from Bristol Community Transport who provide a MiDAS trained driver who is also CRB checked. The minibuses are equipped with booster seats and seat belts.

Parental Permission: Parents are asked to complete Permission Slips and Medical Forms if they wish their child to attend. A contribution of £6 is required to go towards the cost of the hire of the minibus.

What to bring and what to wear:
It is important to maintain children’s basic comfort by wearing the right clothing and having enough food.

Food:
Packed lunch in a back pack.
To include - Finger foods e.g. Sandwiches, rolls, wraps
High energy foods e.g. cakes, biscuits, squeezy yoghurts.
Drinks - bottle of water and fruit juices

Clothing:
Children will need to be appropriately dressed.
• Layers are best – vest/T-shirt, long-sleeved top and fleece
• Long trousers
• Two pairs of socks
• Gloves if cold
• Woolly hat/Sun hat
• Wellies or snow boots
• Coat
We will provide waterproof trousers and coat.

For more detailed information about our Forest School outings, please refer to our Forest School Handbook which is available on request.