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Forest School and other training services

Developing our Forest School Training

Trainees captured in their hazel structure

Autumn 2013 Forest School Level 3 Training at The Retreat Woodland

‘I feel like I have been on a Forest School myself.’

‘I really enjoyed it and thought it was brilliant.’

‘It was good to slow down and being here was great.’

These were a few comments from our last Forest School Leader training course at the end of 2013. This year we continue to develop our accredited training, with courses starting in March and April, for those wanting to explore using the Forest School Approach with their groups. The Forest of Avon Trust is a member of the Forest School Association, the national governing body of Forest School, and after completing our training trainees will receive a years free membership. We are also part of the Forest School trainers network and use best practice and the latest updated structure for the accredited training we provide.

We have worked with a broad range of educational professionals and private individuals over the last year that want to lead groups following the Forest School ethos. We have provided on-going support and advice to help groups set up their Forest School programmes and identify spaces they can use and also improve for the future. Some individuals have gone on to set up their own successful businesses in offering a range of Forest School activities to their local schools and communities.

Through our wider educational work and passion for trees and woodlands we strive to help Forest School leaders and those wanting to take groups in to natural spaces to provide inspiring experiences and find links to key local networks. Through this outdoor leaders will be less isolated and are more able to succeed in developing their activities now and into the future.

 

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John Muir Training Session

The Forest of Avon Trust continues to develop its work as part of Natural Connections Demonstration Project, one of the largest outdoor learning projects in the UK. As ‘hub leader’ for North Somerset, we are excited to be supporting schools to forge links between each other, and with outdoor learning providers, to improve and extend learning in the natural environment.

The John Muir award is a key part of supporting and recognising schools and individuals in developing unique and valuable experience in the natural environment. This award works so well to support the this project as it is flexible to meet the needs of each group and also captures not only learning and development in natural spaces but also supports groups to look after and improve these spaces for people and wildlife.

It is great news that the John Muir award team are going to work with one of our key Beacon schools – Clevedon Secondary School – to run some training on Wednesday 26th March to support schools and professionals in North Somerset and the wider area to develop new opportunities for outdoor activities and explore using the John Muir award to capture this. If you would like to book on this please follow this link.

Posted in: Natural Connections Demonstration Project, Training activities | Tagged |

Showcasing our Work

The Trust celebrated its third ‘birthday’ in December by taking on the lease of The Retreat and by filming three videos at the site, illustrating our work.  Trust patron and One Show regular Mike Dilger took time out of his busy schedule to help us with this, working with local media production company Constellation Media.

We were supported in the films by Forest School trainees; children and staff from Bradley Stoke Community School; and representatives from some of the organisations, businesses and Councils we have worked with.

Jon Clark, Trust Executive Director, said:

‘It was a cold and windy day, so huge thanks to everyone who took part. It was really heartening to hear everyone’s commitment to the cause. I am really pleased with three short films, which I hope speak for themselves.’

A mention has also got to go to Manor Farm Shop for an excellent warming lunch.

The videos are below: (also available on our YouTube Channel)

Tree Charity: the Forest of Avon Trust

Click here to play the video

 Tree Action in and Around Bristol

Forest School Leader Training

Click here to play the video

 

Posted in: Adults with Learning Disabilities, Business Sponsors, Community Partners, Forest School, Free Trees for Communities, Future Woods, Garden Forest, Join us as a Friend, Latest News, Natural Connections, Our Projects, Training activities | Tagged , , , , , |

Inspiration for outdoor learning – Inset Day

Group under and around a willow tree

Creating a poem about a willow

We recently ran an Inservice training day with Charborough Road Primary School (whom we have worked with before to create a mini orchard) in North Bristol to explore a range of outdoor activities that would engage their pupils with the natural spaces in their grounds. The day focused on a range of creative and practical approaches to explore outdoor spaces, including – exploring colours and creating a natural mosaic and making natural perfumes. More »

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Forest School Training

Shelter in the woods

Forest School Training shelter building

Forest School is now well established as a fantastic way to engage groups in woodlands and nature and in supporting the personal development of those involved. A milestone in the development of the Forest School approach has now been reached with the launch of the new governing body.

The Forest of Avon Trust remains committed to this inspirational approach and supports education professionals to undertake Open College Network accredited training. July saw the successful delivery of another Level 3 course to a new group of trainee Forest School leaders. There will be a further opportunity on the 12th & 13th November for those wanting a good starting point in Forest School training to undertake the 2 day Level 1 OCN course. This will be delivered at Lawrence Weston Community Farm Woodland – more information can be found on their website.

Posted in: Forest School, Latest News, Training activities | Tagged |

Big Green Week Woodland Conference

Keynote Speech in Water Vole Woodland at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Keynote Speech by Rowena Kenny

The beautiful and sunny Water Vole Woodland at Lawrence Weston Community Farm was the excellent host for our Bristol Big Green Week woodland event. It was a great success with a fantastic turn out of over 40 professionals from education, social and health sectors attending. Rowena Kenny set the scene with an enlightening and inspiring talk exploring how children’s and adults’ relationships with the outdoors has changed over the past few decades and why it is so important that we are all able to get out into natural spaces.

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Posted in: Adults with Learning Disabilities, Forest School, Latest News, Natural Connections, Training activities |

Woodland Conference

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Posted in: Adults with Learning Disabilities, Forest School, Latest News, Natural Connections, Training activities |

OCN Introduction to Forest School Nov 16th & 17th 2011 9.30am to 17.00pm

You’ve heard about Forest School – now come and experience one! This course offers the opportunity to develop confidence, skills and knowledge in order to work with groups in an outdoor setting. The course will be taught at Lawrence Weston Community Farm in North West Bristol by Jon Attwood from the Forest of Avon Trust. Over the two days you will:

  • Experience a Forest School session
  • Explore the benefits of using a Forest School approach with groups of all ages.
  • Learn practical skills and activities to use with groups in an outside setting.
  • Develop an understanding of how to work safely in a woodland environment.

This level 1 course is suitable for anyone with an interest in leading and supporting groups in a natural outdoor setting. The cost of the course is £190.00.

This course also provides a stepping stone for those who want to go on and take the Forest School Leaders Course Level 3 (due to be delivered in July 2012- Please call for more details)

For further information please contact Jon at the Forest of Avon Trust: jonattwood@forestofavontrust.org 0117 9633383. To book contact Kerry at Lawrence Weston Community Farm: kerry@lwfarm.org.uk 0117 9381128.

Comment from previous delegates;

“I loved the experience of being outside, this has made me really enthusiastic”

“Meeting others, fun practical activities that allowed me to be a child again”

“The resources that have been brought in are fantastic and have supported the activities brilliantly”

introductiontoforestschoolnovember2011

Posted in: Natural Connections, Training activities | Tagged |

Forest School and Woodcraft training

Level 1 OCN - Keynsham - February 2011

Natures Pallet Carousel

Following on from the success of running the OCN Level 1 Forest School Training the Forest of Avon Trust will be offering the Forest School leader qualification in partnership with Lawrence Weston City Farm this summer. The Level 3 OCN qualification allows you to develop and lead Forest School activities and is comprehensive in covering a broad range of topics for safely and effectively running activities and using and looking after our woodlands. More »

Posted in: Natural Connections, Training activities |

Forest School Training course a big success

Following a tree top walk

The first partnership OCN Forest School training course between Lawrence Weston Community Farm and the Forest of Avon Trust took place on a couple of damp autumnal days at the start of November. The training covered some background information about the development of Forest Schools and the benefits of this approach along with a range of practical activities that could be used with diverse groups. The activities explored how to connect people with their natural surrounding through the use of their senses as well as a range of games and exploration.

Woodland perfumes shared by the group.

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Posted in: Natural Connections, Training activities |