Schools, Academies, Nurseries, Home Education.
BushKraft is a non profit organisation meaning schools get a good value for money. Our outdoor education style is to build self confidence in children, encourage thinking out the box. Problem solving to promote team building. We encourage all children to speak out and to listen to their peers. We encourage them to try their idea's to see what works and how to improve it. These skills can transfer back into the classroom and home environments.
How does forest school outdoor skills/activities fit the school curriculum ?
Maths:- Map and compass work. tracking, etc
Science:- Nature, Fire elements, water purification, friction, newtons laws, etc
English:- Verbal communication, reasoning, etc
Physical education:- Shelter building, fire building, archery, etc.
Food and cooking:- Food groups for survival, backwards cooking,
As we are in an outdoor setting the way of learning is very child led at each child's own pace. This is possible with our high adult to child ratio. We teach knife safety and the law concerning knives. They will use various other outdoor tools yet again learning the safety aspects first.
We are Archery GB qualified archery instructors and although not part of our standard forest school we can offer the sport to your school for pupils and teachers.
Over night camping opportunities for a class at a time. All tents and equipment provided. Staff and pupils will have a kit list to bring for example sleeping bag, pillow, teddy bear etc.
All of the above like team building can be adapted for adults.
Please remember Forest School is Long term ethos, and the below is only a taste of what we offer. Typical 6 Week Time Table (age 7-10 Adapted for older/younger)
Week 1:- Pre entry talk stating some basic safety info for all. We then have the walk round the entire site showing any possible dangers as identified in our risk assessments. (tool use, fire safety, first aid, toilet use etc)
We then split the group into teams of 5-8 children. (Ideally helped by teachers who know them putting alleged stronger and weaker characters together) as this is not the most fun part we always end with them cooking something on our fire to eat.
Week 2:- We then explain they have just survived a plane crash they. They need to work together and find a safe area to set up camp. They have rope, tarp, and at this point nothing else. We will show some basic knots for them to try with a short demo piece. (no pass or fail as they are a team)
Week 3:- Build their shelter for a test at the end of the session meaning those who like shelter building can continue those who do not venture off. This is where tool use comes into use. We will recap to all about safe use. At the end of session all camp mates will enter their shelters and water will be used to test.
Week 4:- They are still awaiting rescue and are now needing entertainment and warmth and cooking facilities. Introduction to fire lighting with flint and steel. Slack lining, rope swing. Each team will get to do all at least once and then they can choose their base to try and perfect or help others.
Week 5:- By this time we would know where each child's strengths are and try and get them to increase them. The confidence in perfecting any skill is a confidence boost for those who struggle academically in something practical really does help in the classroom.
Week 6:- Entirely child led with supervision, they can choose what they wish to do with the ask that they help someone who finds it difficult. The last session they will learn to make pizza and cook it on a fire with their own toppings. Once eating time we will do reflection time with what the children liked and disliked with reasons. Before they go each child will get a BushKraft certificate to keep for something positive they did. (there is always something for every child)
Within 2 weeks if required we will pass our observations of the children to the school to hopefully see practical, or academic strengths the children did not know they had.
This can all be adapted for all ages and abilities. Also if children get another chance to experience our forest school, we will well re run things like shelter building but concentrate on the structure and strengths. Using science they can experiment with different shapes and structures. They can also learn tracking skills, radio communications using phonetic alphabet. Play old seasonal game like conkers, roast chestnuts. Bug hunting and examine them with our magnifying pots. Problem solving and team building using the skills they learnt from their first sessions.
All Weather All year round.
BushKraft Forest School operates in most weather conditions. Although we have to take into account the Met Office weather warnings.
In the unlikely event of a session cancelled due to weather we can then facilitate forest school fun and games with in your school hall if required. The other option would be to add another day so the children do not miss out.
Woodland imagination and art.
Although we have a program of activities, BushKraft Forest School believe in the ethos of also being partly child led.
This started out as a simple wood collecting exercise. A group of 10 children then worked together building their woodland monster. They lashed it together and on the last day burnt it while cooking S'mores on it.
Fires, Fire Lighting Safety
Fires are an important part of Forest School. It tends to be the relaxing and calming area of the site.
Children will learn how to use a flint and steel and why they are used instead of lighters etc. They will also learn basic but important 1st aid for burns and scalds.
Tools, Knives, Axes Etc
The children will learn to safely use tools and bladed articles. Ratio's will be individually risk assessed on the day. Every child will get to use all tools throughout the booked sessions.
They will also be given 1st aid information as part of the safety talk.