The children meet in the morning in a small adventure play area near the main entrance to Queens Wood. We get all kitted up for the day, depending on the weather (see kit list). We start each day by planning with the children. We share ideas and decide on some of the things the children would like to do that day, before heading off into the wood.
We make a temporary camp in an area of the woods, putting up a tarpaulin shelter if rain looks likely. The site will be checked by staff for safety and a risk assessment completed with the children. The day is then a mixture of child-led exploration and play, coupled with Forest School activities such as those listed below. Adult interactions are sensitive, making sure the children are supported when necessary and empowered to direct their own learning and achieve their own goals. Some days we go back to the cafe for a hot lunch, others we eat a picnic in the woods.
We vary the activities throughout each day and week so that the children are always stimulated. However, we revisit activities if the children wish to do so.
An important part of every day is reflection time, where the children think back over, and talk about, their session. This is done in a variety of ways depending on the children and may be based on making a picture or a collection of artefacts. This is used as a basis for planning follow up sessions.
Children can stay every day of the week, or do a number of whole or half day sessions - whatever suits them and their parents. The minimum number of sessions, however, is two per week.
These are some examples of the kinds of activities we do:
Rope swings and bridges
Games such as hide and seek
Recording bird calls
Painting with natural pigments
Habitats for real or imaginary creatures