Operating Procedures

Meeting Point

The Stubbles car park, Nursery Road, Loughton. (Opposite the end of Connaught Avenue).

Picking up and Playing with Stones

Finding and collecting stones for playing purposes is strongly encouraged, including transportation, building and pattern making; however, the throwing of stones is prohibited for safety reasons.

Picking up and Playing with Sticks

Children may carry sticks shorter than their arm’s length but must be careful to maintain a safe distance from others. Longer sticks may be dragged, or carried between several children. Sticks must not be thrown, nor should children pull them from living trees.

Tree Climbing

The adult:child ratio must be 1:1. The ground must be checked for sharp objects and the ‘climbing trees’ for loose and rotten branches. Children are encouraged to explore and should always stay within arms reach of an adult.

Rope and String Use

The children are welcome to collect and transport materials. They will have access to string and rope to facilitate this and may need adult supervision if scissors are used. Extra care should be taken to ensure children do not become tangled in ropes or string.

Digging

Children love to dig and are very welcome to do so, so long as care is taken around animal habitats. Children are encouraged to vary the sites at which they dig.

Collecting, Carrying and Transporting Materials

Children should be encouraged to roll, lift, drag and pull materials, either by hand or using ropes. Safe lifting by bending your knees should be discussed and modelled by all adults.

Toileting

Parents need to ensure that their child(ren) have used the toilet before arrival. If a child requires the toilet during the Forest School session, the parent can decide the best course of action.

Clothing

Children and adults should dress appropriately. The Forest is a natural environment and there may be prickly or spikey vegetation and branches.Clothing should be as follows: 

  • a long sleeved top (even in summer)
  • trousers not shorts 
  • a waterproof coat
  • waterproof trousers
  • wellies
  • a spare set of clothes

Eating and Drinking

Children must not eat or drink anything found in the woods. Young children also need reminding not put their fingers in their mouths or noses. Thorough hand washing with antibacterial soap is necessary before snack and drink time.

Leaving the Site

The site used for Forest School must always be left as it was found. Shelters will be taken down and any imported materials taken away at the end of each session.

Lighting a Fire

The Forest School leader will be responsible for the fire and all accompanying adults will be briefed before we start. Fires must be watched, and all Fire Safety procedures followed at all times. A 5 litre bucket of water, fire gloves and a burns first aid kit are always kept by the fire.