Unit 4: Ratios Copy

Depending on which country you live in, there are national standards for the number of adults needed to be with children at any one time.  In schools, this is dependant on the ages of the children, with younger ones needing a higher adult to child ratio.  Other factors include the qualification of the adult, the needs of the young people and if you are taking them off school grounds.

As a trainer, we are often asked to give definitive ratio’s for use of tools.  However every child is different and it is your role to think through what you are doing, and with whom, then to decide the ratio you need.   You can also ‘dynamically’ risk assess this in the moment and change what you are doing, if you see it is too dangerous or that the child is capable to do something on their own.  We recommend that you keep the ratio higher at the beginning, then through observation, you can make appropriate changes.

Forest School at it’s heart, is about building relationships to the natural world and a community of learners.  It is important that group size is kept small to enable this individual relationship building, and to provide a plan that meets the needs of your participants.  Maximum group size is usually 16 young people with 2/3 adults.