A week in Forest School

Last week saw me spending week 2 of forest school training and what a week it was! It flew by.

Monday - Was a chance to catch up with old friends and new before heading into the woods at Rookhow to play some games including a name game called Sparrow Hawk which was fun! The day became a bit more academic looking at Emotional Intelligence, Behaviour Responses and Flow States - not as much fun but interesting.

Tuesday - After some more fun to get our energy flowing including a capture the flag type game involving stealing enemy eggs we got into some tool work to hone our practical skills. A popular item was carving fox pegs which had lots of character.

Wednesday - This was a skill assessment day. A very laid back way to pass a test but also very busy. The day centred on individual and team efforts in shelter building, tool use, fires and cooking. With everyone trying to show off their cooking skills we certainly ate well with a German style starter of fried potato and apple sauce ( I had seconds), followed by curry with wild mint yogurt (I had seconds) and then a chocolate muffin cooked in an orange and covered with molten Nutella (stuffed at this point). A variety of very impressive items were made including a trawler model and a fantastic chair. Kelly kettle hot chocolate helped the day along too.


Thursday was a team delivery of a forest school. Session one was a hilarious smorgasbord of all sorts of activities which totally overran the allotted hour but that was OK. A very open pick a spot activity lead to making and following a trail. I particularly liked using a hammer to leave a leaf imprint. Session two was our team and had a very quiet and reflective entry into the wood, followed by a sleeping fawns game before creating items for a midsummer fairy party. Session three was a much more reflective session honing in  on using a stick to tell the story of a journey. I'll let you decide which one I was involved with. All sessions were very different and really demonstrated the breadth within which forest school could be applied.

Friday was a goodbye day with some games in the woods followed by one and one sessions looking at future areas to develop and help with assembling the forest school portfolio.

Evenings were very interesting too. I explored Quaker woods and the surrounding heading up to Glass Knott, found a mossy den that was like a goblin cave, ate lots of wood sorrel, tracked animals and best of all tried out sleeping in a hammock.

On reflection the feel of the week was marred by understandable jitters about assessment and the portfolio. However when in the swing of things everyone excelled and demonstrated their passion and skills for outdoor learning.