About Be Wild and Forest School
At Be Wild, we believe in allowing children to explore themselves and the world around them through nature and play. Providing a safe and inspiring environment for the learner's imagination and creativity to run wild.
We want to inspire anyone that comes to Be Wild to go outside more, explore their local area, forage, climb trees and create experiences that learners can take into the rest of their lives. In turn, we aspire to help parents and family to feel safe about their children exploring and playing freely outdoors.
We take inspiration from many learning theorists and stories and practices of indigenous cultures such as Forest School, Montessori, Steiner and Celtic festivals which a line closely with our seasons. We love to incorporate nature, triable, instinctive games to teach children about wildlife and our environment while getting them active, working in teams and communicating. We aim to build emotional and physical development through the games we play, the songs we sing, the stories we tell and the bushcraft skills we teach.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is a long term outdoor programme of activities delivered by trained practitioners within a natural environment and whatever the weather! Our programme will be tailored to meet the needs of the children as they grow in confidence, skills and understanding. The ethos of Forest School allows learners the time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences. It also allows practitioners to step back and observe the children in order to then encourage and inspire individuals to achieve through careful scaffolding and facilitating.
Where will Be Wild Forest School be taking place?
We are fortunate to have access to a private woodland in Edenbridge. We also work in multiple schools which have a varied outdoor area that includes woodlands, ponds, fire pit area. The children will learn more about these varied habitats and the animals that live in them. We will ensure that, at every session, the children are secure in their understanding of the boundaries and of our Forest School rules. The whole area has been thoroughly risk assessed and this will be updated regularly.
Who will be staffing the Forest School?
Be Wild is run by qualified Level 3 Forest School Practitioners. They are extremely passionate about the great outdoors and the benefits of Forest Schooling for all children. As part of their course they have been trained in delivering Forest School sessions, in tool use and fire safety, outdoor First Aid, Foraging den building and the environment. To make the children’s experiences even richer, please come along and join us. No experience is needed for volinteering as we will provide you with an introduction before we start forest school, just inquisitiveness to explore and a DBS.
Health and safety
The health and safety of all participants is central to everything undertaken within a Forest School Programme. Our Forest School leaders are fully trained in risk assessment and emergency first aid. When run on school sites we operates under the school’s Health and Safety policy and policies and procedures regarding safeguarding and confidentiality. In addition:
risk assessments for activities
informed adult helpers
First Aid and emergency equipment
Some of the activities the children may participate in are ‘higher-risk activities’ (such as tool use). These activities, however, are not available to the children until certain behaviours and boundaries are established. Children are encouraged and supported in recognising and managing risk for themselves, through real life situations and experiences.
What sort of activities will go on at Forest School?
The first sessions will focus on core skills and safety. Activities will increase week on week and may be linked to a topic to include: games; bushcraft skills, stalking and camouflage skills, woodland crafts using natural resources and tools, storytelling; natural art activities; exploring, nature watching and bug hunting; climbing, rolling; practical woodland skills; building dens; time to be quiet, reflect or talk.
What benefits will my child get from participating in Forest School?
Forest School supports the holistic development of the child:
• Health and fitness – Being active in an outdoor, natural environment.
• Increased emotional wellbeing – being among trees has been shown to have a real and positive effect.
• Social development – Communicating, sharing, negotiating, problem-solving and increased confidence.
• Skills development – Developing fine and gross motor skills and coordination for real purposes.
• Gaining knowledge and understanding – Multi–sensory, real-life learning and learning to care for our green spaces and wildlife.
• Individualised learning – Careful observation allows adults to tailor support to children’s own interests and stage of development.
How should the children be dressed?
All children must wear old clothing consisting of a long-sleeved top, trousers (no denim) to alleviate the risks of bites, scratches and stings and suitable footwear such wellingtons, old trainers or walking boots. Long hair must be tied back. During the summer, a sunhat should be worn and sun cream applied before the session. Over the colder months, extra layers such as a fleece, hats and gloves are necessary. All Forest School Kit should be named.