September Newsletter

Welcome to Birchwood Learning’s E-Newsletter. I hope you have been enjoying the summer and have been able to get out and about exploring nature.
Website  update – Seasonal Stories
Summer-time facts, folklore and stories are  now uploaded to our website. Take a  look here.
New  – CPD training for Forest School Leaders
We are pleased [...]

Welcome to Birchwood Learning’s E-Newsletter. I hope you have been enjoying the summer and have been able to get out and about exploring nature.

Website update – Seasonal Stories
Summer-time facts, folklore and stories are now uploaded to our website. Take a look here.

New – CPD training for Forest School Leaders
We are pleased to announce two brand new training days designed to inspire creativity in FS practice and develop practitioners practical skills and knowledge. Please click titles for more info:

  • Firecraft and Camp Cooking– developing skills in fire lighting methods, maintain fire lays, making pot hangers, using dutch ovens and trying some yummy recipes!
  • Tarps and Twine – developing skills in knots and lashing, constructing rope structures (swings and low ropes courses), making cordage from natural materials, exploring shelter design using tarps and hammocks.

Natural Environment White Paper
“As well as having important health benefits, access to the natural environment can also improve children’s learning. We want to see every child in England given the chance to experience and learn about the natural environment.”
This recent Government White Paper outlines the importance of nature for people’s and communities health and wellbeing. It outlines the vision for the next 50 years improving the natural environment and encouraging people to access it. There is information specifically for schools on the website.

Mythbusting – The Health and Safety Executive statement
In June 2011 the HSE released a statement to dispel common misconceptions about Health and Safety and school trips. It highlights 4 key messages;

  1. ‘Well-managed school trips and outdoor activities are great for children. Children won’t learn about risk if they’re wrapped in cotton wool.’
  2. ‘Teachers should expect their schools to have procedures that encourage participation, are proportionate to the level of risk and avoid bureaucracy.’
  3. ‘Those running school trips need to focus on the risks and the benefits to people – not the paperwork.’
  4. ‘Accidents and mistakes may happen on school trips – but fear of prosecution has been blown out of all proportion.’

Read the full document here.

Using Houghton Estate as an Inspiring Outdoor Learning Location
Are you an Early Years or Key Stage 1 practitioner in Norfolk? If you are, did you know that you can take your class on FREE self guided visits to the amazing Houghton Estate (just off the A148 between Fakenham and King’s Lynn). The Estate has a fully equipped education centre and inspiring outdoor facilities including woodland, walled garden, parkland and internationally renowned land art installations.
Find out more about the Educational opportunities here.

Online Resources – Using Gardens and Woodland as a learning resource for SEN and EBD Pupils in KS3 and 4
A group of schools from the North East of England have created a set of resources (appropriate to Key Stage 3 and 4) that are now available on the Growing Schools website. The lesson plans and activity ideas are based around the themes of growing, woodland/bushcraft/trees and bees!
For online access to these resources please visit the website.

LANTRA Women and Work Funding
Lantra are continuing the funding stream for their women and work programme – designed to support more women into landbased careers. In the past some practitioners have been able to access this fund to support Forest School training.

National Forest School Conference – Saturday 8th October
Sue Palmer (Author of Toxic Childhood and 21st Century Boys) and Sara Knight (Author of ‘Forest School and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years’ and ‘Forest School for All’) are the keynote speakers for this year’s National Forest School Conference. The Institute for Outdoor Learning Forest School Special Interest Group are facilitating this conference on Saturday 8th October in Swindon. The day will be packed full of hands-on workshops, inspirational speakers and key updates about National Forest School issues.
Find out more and make your booking from the IOL website here.

Back to School Shopping – The Forest School Training Company
Don’t forget that you can now get all your Forest School kit and clothing direct from FSTC. Why not visit their online shop to get ready for the new school year.

Forthcoming Forest School Training in Norfolk

Assessing for Danger! Outdoor First Aid for Forest School
Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st February 2012 at Holt Hall Field Studies Centre, £150
I’m pleased to let you know that Andy Forsyth will be in Norfolk running his fantastic two day First Aid for Forest School ITC training course. This 16 hour course covers essential first aid in the outdoors for 1 years to adults (please note that it does not cover infants) and is designed specifically for Forest School Leaders. It would also be very relevant for others working with groups in the outdoors such as field studies teachers, bushcraft instructors and teachers leading offsite visits etc.

Forthcoming Norfolk CC Outdoor Learning Training

  • Creativity in the Outdoors – 30.09.11
  • Storytelling in the outdoors (With international trainer Jon Cree) – 17.10.11
  • Natural Wellbeing – Developing Emotional Literacy (With Jon Cree) – 18.10.11
  • Using Houghton Hall as an offsite location for outdoor learning – 21.10.11
  • Using fire for learning in your school grounds – 07.03.12

Norfolk FS Leaders Network Meetings
Are you a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner (or currently in training) based in Norfolk? If the answer is Yes then you are entitled to attend the FREE Forest School network meetings facilitated by Norfolk County Council’s Environmental and Outdoor Learning Team. The days incorporate updates, CPD, networking and sharing of practice. The following dates and themes are planned for Autumn term 2011 at Holt Hall Field Studies Centre:

  • Saturday 1st October – Ideas for Autumn and Winter
  • Saturday 3rd December – Circle Games

Links we like! – Woodcraft School
One of the UK’s leading bushcraft and woodland skills training providers, based in West Sussex. Develop your outdoor living skills and camp out in their beautiful woodland full of deer, dormice and badgers!

Books we like! – ‘Forest School for All’
Edited by Sara Knight.
This book is a collection of chapters from Forest School practitioners, trainers and coordinators from across the UK. It explores Forest School in its widest context, with a particular focus on using Forest School for a specific purpose, or with a specific type of client group.

Don’t forget to check for forthcoming Forest School and nature based outdoor learning training.