Unit 4: Overview Copy

In Unit 4, Forest School Leader students will gain knowledge and skills to plan a Forest School programme with an understanding of the ecological impact of Forest School.

This Unit is all about getting you prepared and having everything in place, including health and safety that meets you own countries regulations.   Within this field of work, we need to consider key areas where regulation and legislation that may influence and impact what you do. These include working with young people, working outdoors in remote places and taking young people into natural spaces with specific flora and fauna.

Forest School is participatory, so we want young people to be as involved as possible in all the processes and activities. However ultimately as the adult in charge, you need to be fully responsible for what happens at your Forest School.  The key document is often known as the ‘Forest School Handbook’ which sets out clearly all your procedures and protocols that affect your Forest School practice.  This part can often feel daunting, however after 30 years of working outdoor with young people, i continue to find the Handbook as a clear guide to keep my practice safe, challenging, inspiring whilst providing the best nature and learning experience as possible.

The Handbooks, the risk benefit assessments, the planning are all living documents, meaning that what is in there is part of an written ongoing reflection process of staff, volunteers and assistants.   These documents reflect what you do and can be displayed in many diverse ways.

We are providing a ‘service’ for people’s children. I know, having worked with a range of ages and backgrounds,  including very challenging groups that my confidence stems from knowing my practice follows meaningful protocols and procedures that are built on a loving and wholesome understanding of child development and best learning practices.