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Forest School Behaviour Policy

Policies and procedures.



Forest School values the holistic development of each learner and the Forest school ethos recognises that all behaviour is a form of communication.

Spending time in nature and caring for nature is good for our wellbeing. The hub of a fire circle offers social connection and support. The freedom to run around releases energy and positive endorphins.   

Our approach is to build relationships, have core routines and values, help support and guide the learners to address and resolve any issues in a calm and reflective manor. Talking about how our actions can influence another person, positively or negatively. Building a communal responsibility and a better personal understanding, without judgment.

Making and following values at forest school together keeps the environment, the group and ourselves safe.

Core Value.

We listen, we look and we are kind to… Nature, others and ourselves.

Before, during and after the sessions values are discussed as a group or individuals. Games and activity values are made by everyone participating as each participant has the need to feel safe.

Core routines.

Start each session together. Check in with each other. Reflection from the last session. Set values for the coming session.  

End each session together. Check in with each other. Discuss the session. What went well, what did not, what could we do differently next time.


“Beneath every behaviour there is a feeling and beneath every feeling there is a need. When we meet that need rather than focus on the behaviour, we begin to deal with the cause not the symptom.”

Ashleigh Warner.

Behaviour is driven by emotions and emotions are driven by needs, met or unmet.

Forest school works on building self -esteem and self- worth, been non-judgemental and using co-regulation. Providing a sense of safety, identity, belonging and purpose.


Behaviour conflicts.

Conflicts are inevitable between humans no matter how old you are.

Children learn to deal with these conflicts through PLAY.

At forest school we are there to mediate, guide and support with the learners when there are conflicts. We are not there to judge or fix any conflicts ourselves.

We do this by fully accepting the conflict as it is.

 Ask what is going on, what happened, non-judgmental, let the children talk.

Summarising what you thought the learners said, does that sound right to them?

Validating everyone’s feelings, allow all the learners to talk.

How would they like to resolve the conflicts so everyone feels safe? Trust them to make that decision.  

Opportunities to develop and identify our emotions and needs helps to understand them for ourselves and communicate them to other. Building a culture that nurtures emotional safety to make mistakes and earn back trust.

Dangerous behaviour.

Behaviour that endangers or harms the learner or another person during a Forest School session an adult will step in and evaluate the situation.

Communicating what we see using concrete observations.

Expressing our own feelings of safety about the behaviour.

Expressing our needs for safety for the group and/or individual.

Make a request about the behaviour.

Hold space for their emotions and needs.

When the time is right feedback to the individual or group on how their actions affected the group/environment.

Listen to their story.

Gather the group to discuss all emotions and feelings and resolve any issues.


Exclusion from forest school.

This may happen if the needs and safety of the group are affected by an individual’s repetitive unsafe behaviour.



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 information taken 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, SENCO lead 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.

FGM policy.

At Forest School, we will follow the East Wichel School FGM policy, which can be found on the school website.


At Forest School we continue with the East Wichel Community Primary School and Nursery anti-bullying policy which can be found on the school website.


Statement of Intent.

 At East Wichel Community Primary School & Nursery we are committed to providing a warm, caring and safe environment for all our children so that they can learn and play in a relaxed and secure environment. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school. We take all incidents of bullying seriously. Bullying hurts. No-one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect and pupils who are bullying others need to learn different ways of behaving. We acknowledge that bullying does happen from time to time – indeed, it would be unrealistic to claim that it does not. When bullying does occur, everyone should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively in accordance with our anti-bullying policy. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.

Taken from the school anti-bullying policy. November 2021.