Forest School PLUS - Home Education

Outdoor Birthday Parties Box Wiltshire Forest School Bath 

Woodland Adventurers runs our Forest School PLUS for Home Education / Home Ed / Home School and Flexi-School educated children.  The Forest School PLUS group activities take place in our enchanted woodland for ages 5 to 12 years, both boys and girls - every Wednesday from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

The price is £25 for the first child and £15 for each sibling thereafter.  Spaces are limited to ensure the quality of the experiences for the children.  Booking in advance is essential.  

If you would like to find out more do contact us to discuss further.  For details of how to contact us see "For more information" below.

Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire  Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire

Autumn Term

Focus on creativity and winter preparations

Autumnal changes

  • Arts and crafts using the autumnal colours
  • Planting bulbs in preparation for spring growth e.g. daffodils
  • Pruning
  • Establishing a wood store for fire wood to last the winter
  • Farm animal preparations for the winter months
  • Hibernation
  • Maintenance activities for farm animals including fencing
  • Outdoor cooking for cooler weather
  • Basic human needs for survival e.g, food, warmth, shelter 
Spring Term

Focus on new life

Planting, nurturing and harvesting

  • Planting trees (e.g. fruit trees for harvesting fruit for eating, cooking and feeding to livestock)
  • Creating and planting raised vegetable beds to harvest crops for cooking
  • Livestock - Caring for them and a little "Spring cleaning" of houses
  • Caring for our new rabbits in their new home
  • Chicks and ducklings (hopefully!)
  • Natural predators (learning types of predators, behavior and prevention)
  • Nature plant life observations as new life develops
  • Outdoor cooking (bread, cakes and lunchtime meals)
Summer Term

Focus on using natural materials and traditional methods

From rare breed sheep to wool garment
  • Hand shearing sheep ("hands on" by the children!)
  • Washing wool (by the children)
  • Carding wool (by the children)
  • Spinning wool (by the children)
  • Using wool e.g. knitting and crochet (by the children using the friendly expert(s) from Jumble Jelly)

From tree & crop to basic wood craft & environmentally / ecologically friendly construction methods

  • Use of traditional tools (e.g. bow saws, bill hooks and braces)
  • Basic traditional building and construction - learn about foundations, compression forces vs tension forces, natural materials, design considerations through "hands on" activities by the children (e.g. using straw bales, hazel etc)

The above are specific subjects for the season and these are additional to our other activities such as hiking, team games, den building, camp fires etc shown in the table below.

 

Our approach to Home Education

There are many reasons for choosing a home education approach for your child and the most exciting reason is that you are in control and you can make all the decisions.

Some pursue the National Curriculum and others follow their own path.  Either way, taking control means you have more ability to provide your child with the foundations and skills they will need throughout their lives. 

Woodland Adventurers provides Forest School PLUS and Outdoor Learning through outdoor activities in woodland and the countryside including access to farm animals - currently pigs, sheep, chickens and ducks. 

The activities themselves are only a small part of the learning.  Through the Forest School PLUS and Outdoor Learning approach at Woodland Adventurers children will develop their social skills through mixing with other children of varying ages and adults. 

Woodland Adventurers makes every effort to provide a positive environment for the children where the word "yes" is used as much as possible, with lots of encouragement. We believe that this encourages the children to take responsibility for their decisions and builds self esteem, self confidence and self belief.  Kindness and inclusive behavior by all (to all) is of high importance in our values.

All children and adults are treated with respect and as equals.  Woodland Adventurers over time aims to encourage, nurture and enable children to become responsible, intelligent and creative people, with high levels of self-esteem, confidence and self-belief, who are kind to others and socialise well.

Activities

Activities are broad and real, giving children a relevant connection to all learning.  Topics that are covered are as wide as the time allows.  Our approach includes many outdoor activities and our imaginations (including those of the children) are the only limitations to what can be done.  We aim to be creative and open to ideas at all times and therefore the activity choices are developing all the time.  This is by no means an exhaustive list and current types of activities include the following:

Den / shelter building
  • Learn about structures using man-made materials
  • Learn about structures using natural materials
  • Learn about design in terms of weather proof, stability and access
  • Learn about forces, leverage, moments and safety aspects
Fire lighting (including camp fires)
  • Learn risks and safety aspects of using fire
  • Learn the benefits of fire
  • Learn about intake, combustion and exhaust
  • Learn different methods and the process of lighting fires
  • Learn to cook on a fire, stove and field oven
Team games
  • Learn to participate in fair competition
  • Learn about health and well being including cardio-vascular exercise
  • Learn about risks and safety
  • Learn how to design a team game
Farm animals
  • Learn about animal welfare (feeding and caring)
  • Learn about different types of animals and breeds
  • Learn about risks, animal temperaments, respect and safety
Use of traditional tools (e.g. bill hooks, braces, knives, saws)
  • Learn about risks and safety
  • Learn how to look after tools
  • Learn what can be made with traditional tools and their limitations
  • Learn about modern tools
Hiking and orienteering
  • Learn to use an ordnance survey map
  • Learn how to use a compass
  • Learn about the landscape and environment
  • Learn about nature
  • Learn about foraging
  • Learn about risks, safety, safety equipment and safety processes
Arts and crafts
  • Learn about materials (natural including where to find) as well as man-made)
  • Learn to use a potters wheel
  • Learn sculpture
  • Learn painting (materials, methods)
  • Learn drawing (materials e.g. make charcoal, methods)
  • Learn photography
  • Learn how to make a movie / film
  • Learn about nature, foraging and collecting for art
Play
  • Learn to explore own ideas and make them happen

New activities

New activities planned for 2013 / 2014 include:

  • Performing stage drama and singing
  • Building a cob oven (for cooking home-made pizzas!)
  • Building a kiln (for firing clay pots and sculptures)
  • Developing a larger cooking area (including a field oven and hob)
  • Tree planting (for sustainable resources)
  • Creating a stage (for drama and performances)

Benefits

Children will learn through participating in our Forest School PLUS outdoor activities that will provide them with the learning opportunities as follows:

  • Activity-specific learning (topic dependent e.g. farm related, wood craft related, arts and crafts, navigation and orienteering, outdoor cooking, construction and engineering and physical education)
  • Social skills (understanding personal relationships, making friends, respecting themselves, respecting their peers and respecting authority / rules)
  • Building of self esteem, self confidence and self belief through positive affirmation whilst working with others including children and adults.

Many activities are child led or child initiated.  However, rather than chaos(!) there is time for structure and group tasks in particular require the engagement of all.  Inclusion is implemented in a positive manner at all times and children are respected as key members and everyone is considered equal, with a valid view point that must be respected.

The Home Ed group is activity based, using the freedom of the outdoors to explore, have fun and to socialise with other children.  Activities are a mix of fast activities and slower activities such as den building, hiking, camp fires, wood craft, team games, feeding farm animals and more.  In today's increasingly 'screen-based' world (computer games and TV) we aim to provide children with an opportunity for a counterbalance, providing children with 'real' fun that will create lifelong positive memories.

Flexi-school

Children are welcome from full time home education and part time home education.  Part time home education is often referred to as "flexi-school".  Flexi-school is where there is an agreement with the child's school that they are partly educated in a different setting.  This setting should be complementary to their school education and can take many forms.  Woodland Adventurers supports families that take a flexi-school approach by providing a Forest School education in the same way as that offered to other home educated children. 

However there are some differences.  For example, the school will require reassurance that the alternative, flexi school education is complementary and of benefit to the child's overall development and education. They will also want to see a reasonable rate of educational progress.

Woodland Adventurers is very happy to work closely with the school and parents to establish common goals.  We treat this as a 3-way partnership where open feedback is provided confidentially between the 3 parties aimed at achieving the agreed goals for the child.  This may require evidence of a structured education and learning outcomes through the Forest School activities, normally with regular progress reviews. 

However it is also important to balance structure with the broader benefits of Forest School and the greater inherent flexibility where the education and learning will develop and evolve during each activity.  For example, it is possible that we may set out to cover a topic of learning and the real life experiences at the time take us in new directions that are still educationally relevant and of high importance.  In such a case the alternative learning outcomes can be demonstrated.

Price

The price is £25 per first child per session.  For siblings (i.e. same family brothers and sisters of the first child) the price is £15 per additional child per session.  This is payable in half termly blocks based on Wiltshire Council published term dates - typically either 3 or 4 sessions at a time.

What is included?

Included in each session are the following:

  • Forest School session from 9.30am to 3.30pm on the respective day.
  • Outdoor activities.  These will vary depending on the session.
  • Refreshments for children (water, squash, biscuits, tea cakes or fruit).
  • Marshmallows or popcorn (when cooked).
  • Hot chocolate (when cooked).

Children should bring a packed lunch, ideally in a small ruck sack.

Availability? 

Our Home Ed Forest School PLUS group has proven to be very popular.  We have now decided to increase the frequency of sessions and to run the group on a weekly basis (rather than every fortnight as previously).  There is still some availability but this is now getting more limited.

If you are interested in joining the group then please do get in touch to find out more.  See "For more information" below.

If the interest and popularity continues to grow we are very happy to consider running another session on an additional week day.  Again, do get in touch to discuss further and to show your interest.  Thank you. 

How to book?

 

Bookings are taken on line using the "Book now" buttons on specific pages.  

For general enquiries you can contact us by phone on the number above (top of page) or you can email us using our contact form - see the Contact Us page.

 

Terms and Conditions

For Terms and Conditions visit: Terms and Conditions.

For more information

Bookings are taken on line using the "Book now" buttons on specific pages.  

For general enquiries you can contact us by phone on the number above (top of page) or you can email us using our contact form - see the Contact Us page.

Outdoor birthday parties & Forest School Bath Wiltshire

Creativity in Action

Children have lots of freedom.  An amazing colourful, new board game being developed at Woodland Adventurers.  In this case, materials included paint, feather edge fencing slats and paint brushes to make the board.  The pieces were made from a log cut into small segments that were also painted in various colours.  Most of all, there was a gigantic amount of imagination, creativity and concentration.

 

We are located in Box, Wiltshire (between Bath and Chippenham) and we have families visiting from across Wiltshire, Somerset and South Gloucestershire, including Bath, Chippenham, Corsham, Bradford-on-Avon, Frome, Bristol, Swindon, Colerne, Wootten Bassett, Trowbridge, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Wells, Malmesbury, Devizes, Calne, Melksham, Tetbury, Warminster and Glastonbury.