September 2020

During lockdown, we were very proud to be able to support families and schools with our FREE home learning packs – these turned out to be very popular! Some of our staff also continued provisions (in person and via Zoom) to vulnerable and key worker children. We loved working with smaller groups and helping to make coming into school still fun and enjoyable!

Now that schools are back, we are able to return to curriculum sessions across the South West. We have continued to grow and now have 16 schools on board with Primary Forest School. It took quite a lot of site prep work within the first couple weeks – we had brambles and stinging nettles galore! What was nice to see is just how much the wildlife had thrived while it was quiet. We now have resident frogs, newts, caterpillars, and stag beetles across many of our sites!

Naturally, our sessions have changed slightly; due to the virus. The children wash their hands before and after sessions and have access to hand-washing or sanitiser throughout the session. We are also ensuring that ‘bubbles’ use their own set of equipment and all equipment is cleaned after use. We will continue to monitor and adapt our sessions to ensure the safety of all participants.

One thing coronavirus didn’t stop was the amount of fun we have during our sessions! We have now included a mindfulness activity too, (nature yoga as an example) in all of our sessions-to help children overcome the recent lifestyle changes. We have seen children engage and benefit from these activities already. 

While our curriculum delivery is back to normal, we are still unable to deliver after-school clubs. However, our holiday camps have been very successful and WILL continue over October half term. Please do get in contact if you are interested in these and we will do our best to accommodate.

Our Team

You all know how good the team are at delivering sessions but behind the scenes the team have been incredible too. We have staff dedicated to our social media and online platforms (doesn’t it look good!), staff working on planning for our sessions to be outstanding across all sites and all of our staff have gone above and beyond during a these tough times! We had a fantastic summer training day and now looking forward to our first CPD this year in a couple of weeks’ time. We are fortunate enough to learn from one another as well as use forest school trainers to continuously help us develop. 

We have been joined by the brilliant Aoife Thorogood this year. After attending our summer training, Aoife has settled well into the team and into her two schools in Tiverton. We are very much looking forward to see the expertise Aoife will share with the team in bushcraft and also her background as a dietician!

New Merchandise

We are super excited to release a new stock of merchandise to be available for children participating in school clubs and holiday camps. We have a new range of t-shirts and hoodies in 6 different colours - along with notepads, pencils, pens, tote bags, mugs, and water bottles! Our staff have also been kitted out with a new style of uniform too! And of course all of our items have been sourced and made responsibly by using eco-friendly methods and/ or materials. 

This Time of Year

It’s time to enjoy the last of the summer sunshine and dig out the jumpers and coats. Although as Autumn arrives so does some gorgeous colours in nature. We can’t wait to for the children to witness the changes at their forest school sites as those reds and oranges start to appear! It’s also a great foraging time – blackberries and sloes are in abundance! A brilliant time to make jams or maybe a cheeky flavouring for adult drinks! 

Posted by Ellen Surtees on September 24th 2020

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