St Julie’s Forest School Procedures
Forest School builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risk, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.
Our Forest School learning environment provides opportunities for children to:
- Develop self-esteem
- Develop self-confidence
- Form positive relationships with others
- Develop a growing awareness of their emotional needs and the needs of others
- Learn to cooperate and work with their peers and adults
- Develop strategies in order to take risks within the boundaries of safety.
- Learn specific skills which link into the curriculum
- Develop knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and a forest environment
St Julie’s Forest School is about exploring and experiencing the natural world through practical activities. The children go out in all weathers, all year round, exploring and learning from the seasons and changes in the environment. Appropriate clothing will be worn. The children’s interests along with the varied natural resources in our woodland are used to stimulate creative thinking, problem solving and skill development, all under the premise of ‘play.’
Environmental Considerations and Conservation
One of the principles of our Forest School is to promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainability. The children are taught respect and responsibility for the world around them. Both children and adults are encouraged to respect their environment and to be aware of conservation issues of the woodland around them.
Health and Safety Considerations
The health and safety of the adults and children is paramount at all times throughout any Forest School activity and session. Safe practice is reinforced through regular reminders. The Forest School programme provides children with opportunities to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning. Whilst being independent in their learning, they will develop early risk assessment strategies and understand that their actions have consequences.
Fire at Forest School
If a fire is lit at our Forest School, it is always supervised by a Forest School Leader. Fires will never be left unattended. Safe fire practice is always adhered to. There will always be a water bucket next to the fire. Children are taught and reminded of the fire circle rules from their first visit to Forest School. These are:
- Sit on the logs or buckets
- Walk in a clockwise direction around the fire circle
- Keep the area around the fire circle free from debris
- NEVER cross the fire circle
- When near the fire, always kneel behind the buckets
Cooking and Eating at Forest School
Forest School Leaders and other adults are aware of the following when cooking and eating at Forest School:
- Open fire cooking is only permissible in the designated areas.
- Everyone should wash or gel their hands before handling food and drink.
- All food is stored in appropriate containers.
- Only clean equipment is used.
- Any dietary requirements are noted and catered for.
- Food will be cooked correctly.
- All equipment and waste is cleared away.
The safety of all participants is of paramount importance. Participants ensure that tools are used safely by adopting the following:
- Tools are stored correctly in school and checked after each session.
- Rules are set out clearly at the beginning of the tool use session.
- Leaders ensure that tool talks are given before any tools are used.
- Children are supervised at all times whilst using tools of any description.
- Inappropriate use of tools will not be tolerated and will result in immediate withdrawal from the task.
A First Aid Kit is always available at the Forest School area. It is the Forest School Leader’s responsibility to ensure that the First Aid Kit is brought onto the site at the commencement of the session and returned to school after each session.
In cases of minor injury, such as cuts and grazes the Forest School Leader will administer first aid and complete a first aid note for the injured person to take home.