Forest School From September 2018 every pupil from Northiam Primary school will participate in a forest school programme of 6 weeks minimum during the academic year. The sessions will take place at Great Dixter House and Gardens, with Catherine Haydock, Education Officer who is a qualified level 3 Forest School leader. Great Dixter was the home of gardener Christopher Lloyd, and is known for it’s colourful and experimental garden. Catherine has worked at Great Dixter since 2010, setting up a rich and varied educational programme including work with schools. In 2011 Northiam Beckley and Brede Schools were involved in a pilot project of educational activities, using the garden and woodland at Great Dixter. Catherine is really excited to be building a stronger relationship with the children, teachers and parents of Northiam School. She hopes that the programme will encourage children to form an ongoing love of the outdoors and nature, as well as developing their holistic education, confidence and self esteem through the hands on learning experiences that forest school entails. The brief For every pupil at Northiam Primary School to participate in a forest school programme of 6 weeks minimum during the academic year. What is Forest School? Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education. The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia. Each programme shares a common set of six principles: 1. Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session. 2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world. 3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning. 4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. 5. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. 6. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. Please see What to Bring Children should be dressed for the outdoors in suitable clothing for wet or hot weather. Long trousers and sleeves are recommended. We go out in ALL weather and may get muddy and dirty so old clothing is advised. Footwear should be comfortable and appropriate for long distance walking. Waterproofs are essential even in the Summer. Please ensure children use sun cream and wear sun hats during hot weather. In cold weather make sure they have plenty of layers especially socks. In cold wet weather please pack a spare pair of socks. Children need to bring sufficient liquid to drink, preferably water. Drinks should be in resealable screw top bottles not cans or cartons. Qualifications and Supervision A Level 3 Forest School leader will be provided by Great Dixter. Northiam School will be required to bring teachers or parents at an adult to child ratio of 1:5. Feedback and Concerns We encourage all participants and teachers/parents to give us regular feedback about their experience and also to talk to us about anything that is causing concern. Feedback and concerns can be expressed verbally, in person or by telephone- 01797 254048, or in writing by email. .We will always endeavour to be as open, honest and as straightforward as possible with carers/parents with regard to any issue; maintaining a two way flow of information can lead to resolutions before problems arise or escalate. All communications regarding formal feedback or concerns will be logged and records kept. In the event of a concern being about our practice, we will investigate this and feedback our conclusions with 28 days. Cancellation and Postponement In the case of extreme weather and no suitable alternative venue being available Great Dixter staff may need to cancel sessions at short notice. Where possible, these will be rescheduled. In the case of Great Dixter staff ill-health every effort will be made to seek replacement staff or to reschedule.