What’s involved at Forest After School and Forest School-style Camps?
Venue: Our venue is the woodlands at Larchill Arcadian Gardens, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare, we meet in the carpark here.
Age: 5 to 10 years.
Times and Dates: School holidays Forest School-style camps run from 10am to 3.00pm. Forest After-School runs from 3.30pm to 5.30pm during the school term. Check here for our upcoming courses.
What happens at Forest School & Forest School-style camps?
The FS ethos is that we have a daily flow of games and routines for the whole group, games that develop our nature awareness skills and create continuity and safety for us. Then we offer choice for children to explore their own learning & fun with Forest School leaders there in support, children of all ages choose how they mingle and play. We always have two Leaders and an occasional volunteer helper, all are Garda vetted and a REC2 first aider is always present.
What your child needs to wear and gear to bring:
- Long sleeved tops and long trousers.
- Waterproof jacket and waterproof leggings.
- Good outdoor footwear; wellies or hiking boots.
- A backpack to carry their gear.
- Lunch and a snack.
- Water and a hot drink in a flask.
- Spare socks and spare light trousers.
Forest School programmes are underpinned by the 6 principles of Forest School and best practice is that they are experienced over a longterm basis.
Where Forest School Ireland offers School Holiday camps we refer to them as Forest School-style. Although our ethos and style of working with young people is the same the holiday camps are only three days long. Our Forest School and After-School programmes provide longterm, over-the-seasons opportunities..
This page of images and a video will give you an idea of how we facilitate our sessions. All the info you need is provided when you book and reminder emails are sent.
Speaking to the children about their FS experience, here’s some direct quotes:
“The thing I love is the ropes, I just don’t know why I never played with them before, how can they be fun I would have said!”Sarah, After-School participant
“Building dens is really cool, I wish we could have school like this everyday.”Amaia, School FS programme
“I made a fire at the Forest School it was cool as soon as I found out how to make the fire I was amazed.”Steve, Summer camp participant
If you are looking for a local Forest School Leader closer to you than our location, please check out the Irish Forest School Association map!
Adult Training Courses & CPD’s
Introduction to Forest School Ethos and Principles
This introductory course is suitable for those interested in gaining a greater understanding of the Forest School ethos and is delivered over two days by highly experienced Forest School practitioners and trainers. You will explore this learner-led style in the outdoors and come away with lots of interactive learning experiences and outdoor activities.
Suitable for teachers, Early Years teachers, staff training, parents, professional development, group leaders and those interested in a greater understanding of the Forest School style of learning.
The curriculum covered will include:
- Exploring what “Forest School” means and what makes it unique to other types of outdoor learning.
- Experiencing a range of Forest School activities and the Forest School approach to working with learners.
- Learning basic identification of woodland species, both flora and fauna.
- Looking at seasonal activities at Forest School and our care of the woodland environment.
- Understand how we support and assess risk at Forest School.
“A lot of fun and a really great way to build a big picture of Forest School. A nurturing, fulfilling experience with practical games, tips and songs for people working with kids and adults”Prior participant, Wicklow
“Informative, exhilarating, inspirational. Very good course”.Prior participant, Monaghan
“A fun and interesting introduction to the forest school principles with games and an experience of being a Forest School student.”Prior participant, Dublin
Staff training for your organisation
Previous clients include:
Dublin City Childcare Committee, Kilkenny RSP, Liberties ETB, Maynooth Froebel Dept., Marino Institute of Education amongst others.
We offer a range of bespoke training options for your organisation and staff. If you are a school or Early Years service that would like to give your staff some tools to bring children into the outdoor learning environment with a Forest School ethos you can contact Ciara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learning outdoors in urban spaces
- Risky outdoor play & control measures
- Natural arts and crafts
- Physical play
- Nature connection throughout the season.
Email email@example.com to find out more about staff training.
Outdoor REC2 First Aid
Remote Emergency Care Level 2 (REC 2) Outdoor First Aid
We offer both 16hr two-day courses (Full REC2) and 8hr REC2 refresher courses valid for 3 years. This course is taught by a paramedic who works with the Dublin Fire Brigade who is also in Mountain Rescue.
The certificate is valid for 3 yrs and can be revalidated with a 1-day refresher course. The course is run completely outdoors.
For trainee Forest School Leaders, you do not need to have completed REC2 First Aid before you begin your OCN Level 3 training but you do need it once the face-to-face training is completed and before you run your pilot.