Forest School Behaviour Policy
Forest School values the holistic development of the learner. The natural environment can be a calming and safe space with areas for quiet and reflection. The hub of a fire circle offers social support. The freedom to run around offers a release of energy. Caring for the natural environment values the world around us. All of these offer positive feelings.
The Forest school ethos recognises that all behaviour is communication.
Our approach is to build relationships and help support and guide the learners to address and resolve any issues in a calm and reflective manor. Talking about how actions can influence another person, positively or negatively. Building a communal responsibility and a better personal understanding.
Attendance or behaviour at forest school is neither a reward nor sanction.
A routine at the start and end of forest school will help to create a calm transition in and out of the school environment. During this time there are opportunities for all participants to acknowledge their own emotions and feelings and share with the group. By recognising how we feel and accepting our own feelings gives us power to then change our feelings. Allowing others to hear our feelings helps everyone to understand and anticipate feelings better and offer support.
As forest school is held outside in a wide area, the emotions and energy levels of the learners are going to be different from when inside. There are times when this might trigger different behaviours. We will look at the behaviour its self and investigate what triggered the pupils’ responses. This will help us as adults to support the learners better.
There are no walls at forest school. Learners are allowed to take themselves to another space within the boundary if they wish for quiet reflection time, time for self-regulation when appropriate. Sometimes time and space is all that is needed. Forest school encourages reflection.
The end of each session the learners can share stories, gratitude and talk about any feelings or issues that may have arisen during the session. A calming gratitude mediation in nature will finish our session.
Behaviour that endangers or harms the learner or another person during a Forest School session will be discussed with all involved. We will use restorative justice and listen to all sides before a decision is made. This may lead to a learner been removed from a session if the behaviour is a safety issue.
If there is a repeat of unsafe, dangerous behaviour then a pupil may not be allowed to attend future sessions.
When leaving and returning to the main school building we will respect other pupils within the school with our calm and respectful behaviour. Returning to the building after been outside we will take our outdoor boots/shoes off before entering the building.
Child protection and safeguarding policy.
At Forest School, we will follow the child protection and safeguarding policy of East Wichel School. For information on this policy, please visit the website.
The Forest School staff including volunteers will all hold a current DBS certificate for working with children aged 2 -11 at East Wichel primary School and nursery.
At Forest School, we work on a high ratio of staff to pupils due to the nature of the sessions. There will always be a minimum of two staff during sessions; this will include a recognised level 3 qualified Forest School leader.
All staff including volunteers will have read the East Wichel school child protection and safeguarding policy and be aware of who the safeguarding lead is and the process of reporting any issues.
Data protection and confidentiality policy.
At Forest School, we will follow the data protection and confidentiality policy of East Wichel School. For more information, please visit the website.
The Forest School leader will record the information taking during Forest School sessions and store securely within the school network. Paper copies are stored securely in school. All paperwork will be disposed of following the schools policy.
Paperwork may be shared with the child’s class teacher, head teacher and family support worker. Any safeguarding matters to the safeguarding lead, Mrs Paula Phillips, head teacher or deputy lead.
All Forest school staff including volunteers will read and uphold the East Wichel School data protection and confidentiality policy.
Inclusion and equal opportunities policy.
At Forest School, we will follow the East Wichel School policy on inclusion and equal opportunities policy, which can be found on the School website.
At Forest School, we will follow the East Wichel School FGM policy, which can be found on the school website.