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Tall Oaks

Forest Schools

“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children and young people opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self esteem, through hands on learning experience in a local woodland environment.�

National definition: by Forest School (England) Network

Forest Schools contact information Phone: 07872 470 266 Email:

Tall Oaks is part of Acorn Childcare 2, a charitable company, limited by guarantee No 07703801, Charity Reg No 1145108. Registered address Wesley House, 17 South Street, Castlethorpe, Milton Keynes, MK19 7EL Tel 01908 510309


Welcome to Forest Schools What is Forest Schools?


What happens at Forest Schools?


Who can go to Forest Schools, and where are they?

8 9

Wellbeing at Forest Schools


Special events, family days and parties


How to book and further information


Just wanted to say a massive thanks, my daughters attended forest school last Tuesday and had a fantastic time. They enjoyed it so much that they have convinced their dad to take them to the family day! Email from parent


What is Forest Schools? Forest Schools is an educational experience in a woodland setting, an innovative approach to outdoor play and learning. The original concept was implemented in Sweden in the 1950s, and was developed throughout other Scandinavian countries. The ethos of Forest Schools is to allow children the time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences in a natural environment. Children will use tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour both physical and social, grow in confidence and self-esteem and become self-motivated. Group sizes are normally 16 to 24 children, occasionally 32, with a ratio of 8 children per trained adult.


Benefits Health and fitness, being active outdoors Self regulation, learning forest rules and observing boundaries Social development, through communication, problem-solving and sharing experiences both with peers and adults Skills development, using motor skills and co-ordination Knowledge and understanding, through multi-sensory learning in a natural environment Increased motivation, by participating in achievable tasks


What happens at Forest Schools? The fun starts with preparation for the visit, such as dressing in outdoor clothes, or travelling to the site which may include singing songs or sharing stories. Once at the site, the children choose what to participate in, carefully supported by our Forest Leaders.

Activities Hunting for mini-beasts Pond-dipping Natural crafts (eg. weaving with grass, earth painting) Den building Tree climbing Using or making tools Fire building Cooking on a camp fire


Food We use local produce where possible. Our free-range eggs, seasonal vegetables, salad and fruit are sourced from Glebe Farm. Sample menus: home-made pizza, cheese and ham omelette, blackberry crumble, sweet pancakes; snacks of popcorn, toast, marshmallows, hot chocolate.


Who can go to Forest Schools . . . Forest Schools is for children aged 3 to 11. We can provide tailored sessions for nurseries, pre-school groups and schools. Forest Schools is linked to the curriculum: it supports many areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, the National Curriculum and the Every Child Matters agenda. Observations by the Forest Leaders allow them to tailor support to the children’s stage of development. During school holidays, we operate an out-of-school club that can be booked by individuals, or we can provide sessions for a school or nursery. Forest Schools also runs one-off parties and special events, which are open to any child aged 3 to 11 and can be booked by schools, nurseries or individuals. Please see page 11 for more information.


. . . and where are they? We have three allocated sites: at Salcey Forest near Hanslope, at Irchester Country Park, and at Shenley Wood in Milton Keynes. However, we can also bring Forest Schools to your school or nursery, if you have suitable outdoor grounds with some natural features. All sites are thoroughly risk-assessed by our trained Forest Leaders, so please contact us if you would like to discuss bringing Forest Schools to your setting.


Wellbeing at Forest Schools Health and safety is of central importance to everything done within a Forest School session. Every Forest School has: • a Health & Safety policy; • seasonal and daily risk assessments of the site; • risk assessments for all activities; • trained adult helpers; • first aid and emergency equipment;

Our Forest Leaders Donna and Gemma are fully qualified Forest School Leaders. They are also both qualified in First Aid and Food & Hygiene. Gemma is also qualified as a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and in Emergency First Aid


Special events, family days and parties Due to popular demand, Forest Schools now runs special events, such as summer fun days, Halloween parties and family days. Forest Schools is also available to book for parties, whether by schools, nurseries or families .

Family Days A chance for mums and dads to come along with their children and join in all the activities too. This is usually a 3-hour session on a Saturday, with hot lunch included.

Private Parties Forest Schools may be booked for a private party for upto 16 children. One or two parents are also required to be on site. The package includes party invites and, after the party, a CD of photos for the host. 3-hour parties include hot food and pudding. 2-hour parties include a hot drink and snacks.


Booking information To book, or for more information, please contact Donna and Gemma, by phone or email. They will happily answer any queries that you have. Phone: 07872 470 266 Email:


Forest Schools Booklet  
Forest Schools Booklet  

Information about Tall Oaks Forest Schools