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Forest School Policies and Procedures

Forest School Policies and Procedures

Clothing

Forest School is run in all weathers throughout the year. Wearing the correct clothing will help make the learners experience enjoyable whatever the weather.

 

Winter: Dress for cold and wet weather, wear layers

We are outside for 2 hours per session. Add layers to keep warm.

A base layer underneath clothing, a sports base layer would be ideal.

Short sleeved/long sleeved top and or jumper. Dark colours work best, we get messy.

Warm long leg trousers/joggers. Leggings/thermal leggings underneath if really cold.

We provide waterproof trousers to place over the top.

Thick warm socks/tights or an extra pair of socks or socks over tights. A spare pair of socks available if their socks get wet.

A waterproof coat. Nothing fancy, it will get dirty.

Gloves, fleece work best, scarf and a warm hat.

Footwear walking boots, wellingtons or snow boots.  These will get muddy, plain boots are ideal.

If a child chooses not want to wear any waterproof clothing due to different reasons, then we will not force them to. We encourage all children at the start of each session to wear the correct outdoor clothing which will help them keep warm and dry. They will be allow to return to school again if they change their mind to collect jumpers/coats.

For anyone who doesn’t wear the outdoor clothing for different reasons, they may need a change of clothing provided to change into after the session. If you recognise this with your child please send in a change of clothes.

 

 

Summer: Dress light but covered for sun protection

We are outside for 2 hours, cover with light clothing for sun protection.

Lightweight long sleeve top or shirt. Keep arms covered for sun protection and protect from insect or nettle/thistle stings. 

Lightweight long leg trousers. Needed for sun protection and protect from insect or nettle/thistle stings.

Wearing shorts, we have long grass and nettles in our forest school area. Nettle stings may occur. Long grass can harbour ticks. Deer have been seen across the fence from the school.

Darker coloured clothing would be advisable in the outdoors. Grass and mud stains are inevitable.

We provide waterproof trousers if it is raining.

Walking boots/shoes or strong trainers must be worn. No loose footwear.

Light waterproof jacket.

 

Sun hat, sun-screen must be worn.

Children without the correct clothing may not enjoy their experience fully. We endeavour to help anyone who forgets to bring items but we have a limited supply.

 The children will get wet and muddy in wet weather. Darker coloured clothing that is easy to wash would be ideal. 

If children decide not to put on their correct clothing they are still be able to attend the session. The hazards of not wearing the correct clothing will be explained to them but it is their own decision.

 

Forest School site

Forest School will take place on the school site. The children will be collected from the classroom by the Forest School leader and/or adult helpers. The children will change into their Forest School clothes and shoes before leaving the building.

The Forest School session is held on the school field in a designated area and areas of the school grounds. The school field is enclosed by a secure fence. A site risk assessment is completed before each session.

There is a small pond in the nature area near the school vegetable garden. This is surrounded by a wooden fence and has a locked gate. Wildlife and pond dipping activities may take place here. Risk assessments will be completed before these sessions.   

 

Weather

Forest School is held in any weather except high winds and thunderstorms.

The Forest School leader will check the weather forecast the day before and on the morning on the session. We may need to cancel at the last moment due to weather conditions. Shelters can be put up to help protect from rain and sun in the Forest School areas. The session will be held indoors if the wind is too extreme. The wind is measured using the Beaufort wind force scale.

 

PPE

The children are provided with work gloves and eye protection when needed for working with tools and fire. Correct footwear must be worn.

Risk assessments completed before running the activity.

 

Fire Pit Area

The safety of lighting and management of a fire is the responsibility of the Forest School leader.

 The fire will be contained to a safe fire area. A risk assessment carried out before the fire is lit and all fire safety equipment must be available.

The seating area around the fire will be placed 2 meters away from the fire pit. Everyone to walk slowly and carefully around the outside of the log circle.

Pupils will work in a maximum of 2:1 ratio with an adult when building or cooking over the fire. Everyone else in this area needs to remain seated around the log circle.

The fire must be extinguished and disposed of safely at the end of each session.

The fire pit area will be in place at every session, even if we do not light a fire. The fire will only be lit if the Forest School leader feels the children are confident with the rules around having a fire and weather allows.  

 

Tools

The children can learn how to safely use different tools in Forest School. Eg. Palm drills, hammers, screwdrivers, spades and secateurs.

The use of tools will be managed and taught by the Forest School leader and helpers on a 1:1 ratio. The correct use of tools and any dangers will be risk assessed at each session.

The children will only use the tools in a designated tool work area clearly marked.

Everyone will adhere to the tool working code. Working a tool and an arms-length away from another person, to wear PPE provided and carry tools safely.    

 

Sticks, logs and stones

Playing with sticks and stones are all part of Forest School. Children can pick up and carry sticks which are no longer than the length of their arm. Longer and larger branches should be dragged along the ground. Larger logs must be rolled along the ground. These materials should be found on the floor or be provided by Forest School and not pulled from living trees.

Sticks and branches may be cut down using the correct tools and procedures during activities.

Small stones can be collected for activities and play. Any larger stones should be moved with care and safely.

Logs and stones could be a habitat place for small wildlife which might be disturbed. The children are encouraged to think of wildlife before moving them. Always replace a stone or log back carefully.

 

Rope, cord and string

In Forest School, we will use rope, cord and string for various activities, such as den building. Wool and string will be used in weaving and lashing twigs together. The children will NOT be able to tie another pupil up with any of these products. Rope and cord will be tided away after use to stop any wildlife becoming tangled.

 

Climbing

The trees at Forest School are young trees so unsuitable for climbing. The branches are thin and could easily snap. As the trees mature, there will be more opportunity for climbing.

Other opportunities for climbing at Forest School may be provided such as straw bales, tyres and pallets. 

Learners are encouraged to develop their own risk assessments when climbing and building climbing areas.

 

 

Food and Drink

A snack may be provided at Forest School. This could be hot chocolate or warm/cold squash. A plain biscuit, toast or fruit. There will be drinking water available at each session. For children with allergies, options will be available, information requested prior to the sessions.

When the fire is alight, we may cook a snack over the fire for or by the children. This could be popcorn, bread products or toasted apples.  

Hand washing facilities are available prior to the snack and all food hygiene and allergen rules followed.

Mrs Webb holds a current food hygiene certificate.

 

Allergies and Intolerances

All allergies and intolerances will be catered for. For any severe allergies (Epi pen) the food/drink provided will be adjusted for the whole group so no cross contamination can take place. We will operate a no nuts policy the same as the school catering team for any food provided. Food provided will be vegetarian. Please inform us if your child is vegan so we can cater for them. Please feel free to ask for any allergen information about products we are using.

If your child requires medication for any allergies, they will need to carry that medication with them down to the Forest School site and the leader will need to be informed.

Tree nuts and seeds may be found naturally in the forest school area.  

 

Toilet

All children will be asked to go to the toilet before getting ready for the session. As we are on the school site KS2 children will be allowed back into the school if they require the toilet during the session. Handwashing is essential after visiting the toilet.

Nursery and KS1 children can be taken back to the building by an adult.

 

Handwashing

There will be a container of water provided for handwashing only plus soap and paper hand towels. Handwashing before preparing and eating snack will be required by all. Hand sanitiser may also be available.

 

Rubbish

The site will be checked for rubbish and animal faecal matter by the Forest School leader before the start and end of every session. All rubbish from the session will be placed in a black bag to be carried away at the end of the session. The children are encouraged to pick up their litter at the end of each session. We may have a litter picking day around the field. All safety equipment will be provided.

 

Visitors to site

All visitors will be required to sign in at the main school office and provide a current DBS certificate. A member of the East Wichel school staff will accompany them at all times. Any visitor will not share information and photos. Relevant risk assessments will be available. All visitors will be the responsibility of the Forest School leader.

For more information on any of the above, please ask to see the associated risk assessments.

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