FAQs and Policies

Events and Bookings 


What is a Forest School?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum


What should we wear?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum


What do we need to bring?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum


What happens if the weather is bad?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum


Where do we meet?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum


What toilet / change facilities are available?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum




Children to be shown boundaries and given time to explore them independently. Children to not to go into the old tip site at far end of site as there is sharp pieces of metal and a badgers set there. Use 1,2,3 where are you to ensure all children are inside boundaries if concerned.


Tree Climbing

Trees within the site do lend themselves to climbing, dead tree trunks laying on the ground are suitable and safe for climbing on and over. Point out to children unsafe dead branches and trunks for climbing on. All should be checked and reviewed on a regular basis. If children want to climb they should explore their own limits but with adult supervision and to a height no higher than adult. Climbing of trees in wet weather is not permitted.



Eating and Drinking

Children should be reminded at the start of each session about the rules ‘No hands in our mouths’ ‘No picking and eating’. Children should know where the station for hand wash, water (this should always be in the same place). Adults to support the children to clean their hands thoroughly before eating snacks. During Parent and Child sessions the parent can supervise their own child with this.



Picking up and carrying sticks

Children can pick up and carry sticks no longer than the length of their arm. When carrying sticks and branches, children should pick up one end and drag it behind them. They should be trained to do this safely and be aware of others around them when transporting larger branches. Any large items that cannot be dragged children should move by rolling or lifting either on their own or a peer/adult. All adults to role model how to safely do this by bending knees and keeping straight backs.





Use of Tools

All tools to be kept in a tool zone within the forest. All children and adults to be fully trained in using tools safely (see separate tool use risk assessment section 4 for more details).  Tools to be kept out of reach of 0-5 year olds unless adult is supervising them.





All hazards should be pointed out to children at the beginning of each session (in response to the pre-visit sweep). If children discover a hazard themselves, they must inform an adult straight away so it can be dealt with/removed in a safe way. All children to be shown and informed about the hazard so that a discussion can take place ensuring all are aware of the dangers associated with that particular hazard. Parents/guardians attending sessions are also expected to do this when necessary.





Use of rope and string

Rope and string is only to be used for appropriate uses. Children to be encouraged to use modeled knots wherever possible. Rope and string to be kept in shed and children to ask to use it before they take it. Children are not to use rope and string on their peers.





Camp fire circle

Children to be made aware of camp fire etiquette. Fire should be manned by an adult at all times. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the site but the forest Leader must always double check. Water and fire blanket to be near fire at all times.





Health and Safety

Dictionary Definitions:


  • an unavoidable danger or risk, even though often foreseeable
  • somethingcausing unavoidable danger, peril, risk, or difficulty


  • exposureto the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance
  • (to take) toexpose oneself to the chance of injury or loss; put oneself in danger; hazard; venture

Application to Forest School Settings:

A hazard is anything that can cause harm. In other words – what are the potential problems in the chosen setting? For example, where the client is a primary school group, a hazard might be tree root that cause a trip hazard in a woodland setting. Another hazard may be fungi that may be poisonous if ingested or handled.

A risk is the chance, high, moderate or low, that somebody will be harmed by the hazard. In other words – how likely is the potential for harm? For example, the risk of tripping over a tree root is low if due care and attention is taken when walking through woodland, and if the children are warned that the woodland floor is uneven. The risk may be higher/moderate if the young person is running. The fungi hazard would be low for an informed primary group. In contrast the risk may be higher for an Early Years group who may put objects into their mouths. The risks would be kept low if this group is well supervised.  (Forest School Initiative Website [http://www.foresteducation.org]: Forest School Scotland Resource 2 – Planning; 2009)



An Act to make further provision for securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, for protecting others against risks to health or safety in connection with the  activities of persons at work, for controlling the keeping and use and preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of dangerous substances, and for controlling certain emissions into the atmosphere; to make further provision with respect to the employment medical advisory service; to amend the law relating to building regulations, and the Building (Scotland) Act 1959; and for connected purposes. [31st July 1974]

  The main purpose of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is to secure the health and safety of everyone at work, whether employed or self-employed. The Act requires employers to regularly review equipment, premises and systems of work to identify


At Wild Beginnings Forest School we are committed to securing the health, safety and well- being of employees, children  and others affected by the school’s activities, including visitors, parents, guardians and contractors. Everyone has a part to play in bringing this into effect and full co-operation is therefore expected. The underlying process, which secures the Forest School’s policy, is risk assessment. Assessments of significant risks will be made in conjunction with those affected and recorded in writing. It will be the responsibility of the Forest School Manager, to ensure that relevant risk assessments are maintained and kept up to date.

In addition, the following relevant Forest School specific arrangements are in place:

  • Accident/Incident Reporting: every injury should be reported in the accident book. An injury that needs medical attention or involves time off work/medical treatment must be investigated by the person in charge of the area or activity. 
  • Curriculum Safety: The Forest School recognises that activities require that children should be taught about how to identify and reduce risks in the way that they work and a balance must be achieved between independent learning and the necessary supervision to ensure safety. Staff will ensure that they are familiar with all risks which might arise from the tools, equipment, materials and processes they plan for children to use.

The following points must be adhered to. They relate specifically to the safe organization, running and participation of staff, volunteers and children at Wild Beginnings Forest School.

  • The person in charge is always the Forest School Leader
  • All staff are DBS checked and First Aid Trained
  • Wild Beginnings holds public liability insurance
  • The Forest School Leader has overall duty of care for the children, but all adults are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure children are safe
  • For parent & child sessions, parents/guardians take full responsibility for their child during sessions at Wild Beginnings
  • All adult helpers understand and agree to comply with the safety guidelines for Forest School (see Rules of Forest School and Health and Safety section in the handbook at Forest School).
  • Additional adult support will be provided where appropriate for children who have SEN or disability needs.
  • The Forest School Leader will ensure there is a First Aid kit on site
  • The Forest School Leader will ensure there is a emergency kit on site
  • There will always be a fire blanket and bucket of water on site during forest schools sessions when fires are lit
  • The Forest School Leader will always carry a mobile phone. In the event of an emergency the Forest School Leader and all additional adults, will follow the Emergency/Incident Procedures listed in this handbook.
  • The Forest School Leader will complete a Safety Sweep of the site before every session
  • The camp fire will always be attended to and manned by an adult
  • All activities will be covered in full by a completed risk assessment
  • The Forest School Leader will always see children and parents safely on and off the site before and after sessions
  • All parents will sign the Parental consent form before the start of their first session.
  • Wild Beginnings reserve the right to exclude those exhibiting behaviour that endangers themselves, others or is inappropriate.



All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If you are concerned about a child or young person and want to speak to someone contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email mashsecure@devon.gcsx.gov.uk and give as much information as you can. If a child is at immediate risk   contact the police on 999

 If a child makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, it is important that you:

  • Stay calm and listen carefully.
  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you.
  • Do not investigate or ask leading questions. Remember you may ask the TED
  • questions

 T- Tell me what happened
E- Explain how did that happen ?
D – Describe what happened 

  • Let them know that you will need to tell someone else, if you think they are or someone else might be at risk.
  • Do not promise to keep what they have told you a secret. However, you will let them know who you are telling and what.
  • Make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which you must sign, time, date and record your Position.



Children are taught, practise and rehearse how to enter and exit the fire circle by   stepping into it and sitting. Children must remain seated at all times when in the fire  circle. If a child needs to exit or move places they must step back out and walk around the outside. No sticks, tools or play resources are to be held by children when sitting in the fire circle; these must be left in a safe place outside. There is to be no running or playing by the fire circle when a fire is lit. A bucket of water and a fire blanket must be close by when a fire is lit. Nothing, other than wood or food, is ever placed into the fire. Children must not poke the fire with sticks. Girls with long hair must have it tied back or under a hat. The fire circle must be kept tidy and swept free of leaves. Children must be made aware of the dangers of fire and how to stay safe around it. Children may light and tend to the fire or Kelly Kettle if an adult is present. The fire is always put out properly by an adult or a supervised child. Embers must be rolled around to ensure it is fully extinguished and a hand above to check all heat is gone from ground underneath.


Children and adults should wear relevant clothing for the weather conditions these include:

  • Woolly hat/sun hat.
  • Gloves
  • Jacket/waterproof coat.
  • Fleece/sweatshirt.
  • Long trousers (even in summer, to protect from brambles and insects)
  • Long sleeved t-shirt (even in summer, to protect from brambles and insects)
  • Spare socks.
  • Stout shoes/wellies/boots
  • An emergency change of clothes and a carrier bag for dirty/wet clothing.
  • Sun cream

When cutting any plants which may sting or prickle, children will be provided with protective gloves to wear. Any adult lifting the Kelly kettle/kettle when hot should also wear protective heat proof gloves

All participants will be briefed in what to do in case of emergency. An whistle will be blown or coo-ee to children as a signal to stop what you are doing and come into view of Leader. All children and adults to stand still and wait for     instructions. The Forest School Leader will assess the situation, the nature and extent of the injury/accident/incident. They will ensure that the rest of the group are safe from danger and are adequately supervised. They will attend to the casualty, giving first aid if necessary. An incident report will be completed later. Monitoring sheets to be filled in where appropriate.

 In case of injury

If anyone sustains an injury or illness which cannot be treated by first aid on site and requires medical assistance:

  • In serious cases, 999 should be dialed using a mobile phone carried by the Forest School Leader.
  • The rest of the group will be supervised away from the incident and if in danger, will be moved to safety.
  • One member of staff will meet the ambulance at the gates and direct the crew to the incident site.
  • In minor cases, the Forest School Leader will arrange to contact the parent of the injured child so they can be collected and taken to the hospital, doctor or home if parent is not attending with their child.


  • Dial 999 and ask for the emergency service. Speak clearly and slowly and be ready to repeat any information.
  • Telephone number of Forest School Leader is: 07963 988006
  • Location details: Beacon Cross Copse, Beacon Cross is at the top of the hill on the Fairmile to Talaton Road, on the outskirts of Talaton.
  • GRID REFERENCE: SY 06975 98331
  • Vehicular access: Through five bar gate up gravel driveway into Beacon Cross Copse off of Larkbeare road
  • State that the crew will be met at the entrance at bottom of car park driveway by member of staff.
  • The nearest landing site for the air ambulance is in field adjoining site near New Barn Farm to the south east corner of the copse.

The Forest School Leader is responsible for ensuring the First Aid Kit is on site for every session, they also need to replace items as and when they are used.

First Aid Items:

Other items:

Selection of different plasters (hypoallergenic)


Sun Cream
Eye pads Sandwich bags
Saline eye wash Sanitary towels
Instant ice pack String
Alcohol cleansing wipes Tissues
Medical tape Hand sanitizer
Scissors Accident report forms
Sterile pads / dressing Wet wipes
Gloves Hair bobbles
Mouth guard for CPR Cling film
Triangular bandage Blanket
Safety pins Paracetamol/Ibuprofen (for adults)
Aspirin (for adults)
First aid manual
Monitoring card

It is the responsibility of the Forest School Leader to ensure the Emergency Kit is on site. This kit is in addition to the first Aid kit and should never replace it. It must include the following items:

  • Copy of emergency Procedure for site
  • Copy of Lost Person Procedure
  • Copy of Grid Reference for Site and step by step for guiding an ambulance to site
  • Matches
  • Survival Bag
  • Parcel tape
  • Spare Clothing
  • Fire lighting kit (fire steel, cotton wool & Vaseline)
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  • Tweezers
  • String

Hands should be washed in warm water in a washing up bowl on site before cooking or eating. Antibacterial hand wash should be used. All pots, pans, cups, plates, cutlery  must be washed up after each session. If chopping food, separate chopping boards should be used for specific jobs, (meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy). Cloths should be kept clean and replaced when required. When using sharp knives children must be

supervised by an adult. All waste should be recycled properly or composted and rubbish disposed of. No rubbish should be left on site.

Poor manual handling by both adults and children within the forest school sessions can lead to serious injury. Care should be taken and proper techniques employed to ensure the safety of all. Manual handling is fine if you are sensible and the weight being  lifted or moved is appropriate for the child or adult doing the activity. Both adults and children should  be shown how to carry and lift objects by the forest school leader so the risk of injury is reduced. When the children are shelter building it would be advisable to explain the procedures for moving larger branches by dragging them along ground behind and using multiple people to move larger logs. Ensure you are properly balanced before you lift. Bend knees to lift and use both hands: let your body bear the load symmetrically by carrying roughly the same weight in each hand, keeping the load as close to your body as possible. Do not bend or lift unnecessarily – use aids where possible. Consider in advance how you are going to move any load, and where to so you can minimize any potential hazards. Determine the weight of the load; do not lift too much at the same time. Ask help from someone else is the load is too heavy.  Always face any load directly; never lift while twisting and turning your back. Move your feet if you have to turn.

Fire Circle:

This area should always be free from rubbish. All cooking equipment should be stored away from the fire circle. The fire must always be put out properly by an adult or a supervised child. Leaves should be swept from the area before a session starts and a fire is lit.

 The Tool Area:

During session tools to be returned to the area when not in use. At the end of the session the area should be left tool free. All knives, axes and equipment should be accounted for by a Leader before leaving the site. The area should be left as found. No litter. If 0-5 aged children are on site. Tools to be kept out of their reach and only used when supervised by an adult on a 1:1 ratio.

 Woodland activity areas:

Ensure areas are litter free, if litter is found during session it is to be collected by Forest School Leader and removed from site at the end of the session. Leave site as it was found. Areas that have been used for play to be left in a safe way for other groups to enjoy the woods.

One of our rules is ‘We respect our forest and all living things within it’ so all animals are respected and left to enjoy their natural habitat. If, during risk assessments, there are animals identified or nests,   burrows etc then these areas can then be assessed and a decision made weather to make ‘an out of bounds area’ or how to use these for appropriate observations and interesting discussions. Children should be told to respect these areas and not to play noisy rowdy games around these areas. They will of course be told not to touch or pick up animal faeces. If the children see any wild animals in the woods they must not go near them. Children should return to the leader and then a decision can be made weather to observe the animal or animals from a  distance. It is better to look and not touch. Children should not approach or touch any animals that are Injured. During winter children should be made aware of hibernating animals and they must be careful not to disturb their homes, which are often in warm cosy  areas. In spring/early summer children should be made aware of any nesting birds in the forest and play should be avoided around the nest sites.

Policies and Guidance Documents

Behaviour Management Policy

Children are encouraged to make a responsible choice and take responsibility for their behaviour. Behaviour is central to a positive attitude towards learning, self-discipline and relating to peers and adults. It enables children to develop maturity, self-esteem and a caring attitude. The language of choice is actively used with children and they understand that if they make the wrong choice they will be choosing a negative consequence.  We always describe the most helpful choice to our children and guide them towards making the right choice for themselves and others.  Children understand that they need to strive to be the best they can be for themselves and others. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable.

In line with this; in order to maintain a positive learning experience, both the adults and children within Forest School have

responsibilities to ensure behaviour, towards peers, adults and throughout activities is safe and appropriate. The following details the roles that each group has in order to maintain this:


  • Follow the rules of Forest School
  • Listen carefully to all instructions and follow them at all times
  • Treat others, the environment and equipment with respect
  • Self and Peer assess for inappropriate behaviour, notify adults if they feel others have behaved inappropriately

Forest School Leader:

  • Create a positive learning experience, which promotes and reinforces caring, nurturing, supportive and acceptable behaviour towards one another, the environment and equipment.
  • Find/create opportunities for yourself, other adults and children to model and celebrate good behaviour choices throughout sessions
  • Promote effective relationships in which all are accepted, valued and treated equally
  • Ensure all aspects of safety are adhered to
  • Establish clearly defined standards of behaviour
  • Involve staff, parents, children and outside agencies in the establishment of acceptable standards of behaviour
  • Place the needs of the children, including needs linked to their preferred learning styles, social and behavioural needs at the centre of all sessions to maximise individual success, raise self-esteem and level of independence.
  • Give verbal praise to children demonstrating good work, good behaviour, cooperation and good group work
  • Use the language of choice throughout all sessions and instructions to encourage positive behaviour choices

All Staff:

  • All staff at Forest School will value every child and their individual differences & needs
  • Model positive behaviour
  • Create a positive site atmosphere and promote the ethos of ‘making good choices’
  • Separate the behaviour from the person
  • Agree mutual behaviour guidelines
  • Celebrate positive behaviour

The steps that should be taken when faced with challenging behaviour are as follows:

  1. The Forest School Leader or staff member will attempt to re-engage the child in same or alternative activity; distracting them from the problem and their choice of behaviour.
  2. Children to be reminded of the importance of acceptable behaviour, asked if they are making the correct choices and encouraged to reflect upon and amend their own behaviour accordingly.
  3. Children to take time out in their special place in the forest and asked to make the right choice, adult to supervise and revisit choices in order to reintroduce child as soon as possible.
  4. If a child is under the supervision of their parent this conversation needs to be had together.


If, after being spoken to by an adult and given the steps above, a child’s behaviour continues to put themselves, another child or the group at risk, they will taken outside the site boundaries and given an opportunity to calm down and calmly discuss the impacts and possible outcomes of their behaviour on themselves, the group and environment. Once they show an understanding of the wrong choices they have made the child can be reintroduced to site to continue with the session. In extreme cases of challenging behaviour the child may be asked to leave the site with their parent/carer. They may not be able to return to future sessions depending on the scale of their behaviour In all cases, an incident report will be completed by the Forest School leader.




Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding is considered everyone’s responsibility. All Adults, have a duty to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse and it is the responsibility of all to ensure that your concerns have been dealt with in an appropriate timely manner. It is the responsibility of the Forest School Manager to ensure all staff and volunteers are properly checked to make sure they are safe to work with the pupils who attend and that the procedures for handling allegations are up to date and in place. In all cases where abuse is suspected or a sustainable allegation is made, teachers and other members of staff should report the information to the Forest School Manager. The Forest School Manager should refer these cases to, or discuss them with, the investigating agencies according to the procedures established by the local Safeguarding Children Board.



If you suspect child abuse


Do refer to your Forest School Manager immediately

Do write up a full report immediately & retain a copy (securely)

Do make sure the child/informant understands confidentiality.  Make it clear that the information may have to be shared with other professionals but only those who need to know



Do not examine the child

Do not ask leading questions – allow the child to tell their own story



If a child discloses information to you


Do allow the child to do the talking

Do listen – take the child seriously

Do remain calm & caring

Do record the conversation as soon as possible afterwards.  (You should always use the child’s own words

Do refer to your Forest School Manager immediately: Use the safeguarding record log (and body map if appropriate)

Do write up a full report for the SDP & retain a copy (securely)

Do share your concerns – you are not expected to handle it alone

Do tell the child what you are going to do & what will happen next


Do not postpone or delay the opportunity to listen

Do not ask leading questions – allow the child to tell their own story

Do not allow your own feelings, such as anger, pity, shock to surface

Do not make false promises
e.g. say you will keep ‘the secret’

Do not interpret what you have been told, just record it

Do not allow any breach of confidentiality but make it clear that the information may have to be shared with other professionals but only those who need to know

Do not delay in referring to your Forest School Manager      immediately

Do not take photographs of any injuries

Do not ask the child to repeat the disclosure



Child Protection Policy

All adults working in the forest should be aware of their responsibility to report any disclosures from children. Forest School promotes an environment where children feel relaxed, comfortable and at ease. During activities, they work closely with adults and can be in a 1:1 situation with them. This may lead to a child disclosing sensitive information to an adult that they may otherwise keep to themselves.

If any adult or volunteer working within the Forest School finds themselves in such a situation, they must follow these steps:

  • Comfort the child if appropriate.
  • At the beginning of the conversation, make it clear that the conversation cannot be kept confidential
  • Listen, but ask NO leading questions, you must not promise to ‘keep a secret’
  • Immediately Inform the Forest School Leader, and make a written record of the concern and, in exact words, what the child disclosed


Incident Policy

All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If you are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you must tell the Forest School Manager at the first available opportunity. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from a different agency,  it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the Forest School Manager in the first instance. A record should be made of the disclosure and exact details of the conversation as soon as possible after the disclosure was made. Any records made should be kept securely. All incidents need to recorded in the incident book. Confidential information should be recorded separately and kept securely.

Inclusion Policy

At Wild Beginnings we promote a common sense of identity and support diversity. All children, including those with a physical disability or special educational needs,  have equal access to forest activities appropriate for their age or  ability. The sessions may be modified and/or differentiated to enable the individual child to better access the activities  due to any educational or physical special needs they may have. A variety of strategies will be used to encourage the participation of all pupils, promoting understanding and learning from each other.

The School is committed to:

  • Celebrating diversity
  • Promoting equality and inclusion
  • Meeting people’s needs
  • Encouraging participation
  • Tackling discrimination and disadvantage
  • Tackling bullying
  • Encouraging, supporting and striving to enable all children and staff to reach their potential
  • Working in partnership with parents and the wider community to establish, promote and disseminate good practice
  • Ensuring that this policy is followed

Wild Beginnings Forest School will facilitate full engagement and participation all children and adults, regardless of their individual needs whether they be physical, cultural, behavioural, emotional, educational or social.

In order to achieve this, the following points should be encompassed in all sessions:

  • Children should be made to feel secure
  • All contributions should be valued
  • Everyone should be treated with respect
  • Children must responsibility for their own actions
  • Have access to activities that allow for a broad range of learning styles
  • Experiences and activities should allow all to achieve success
  • Have access to resources that meet all children’s needs


Physical Contact Policy


  1. Staff may have cause to have physical contact with pupils for a variety or reasons:
  • To comfort a pupil in distress (as long as this is age-appropriate)
  • To gently direct a pupil (again, age-appropriateness has to be considered)
  • For curricular reasons (e.g. in team building sessions)
  • In an emergency to avert danger to the pupil
  • In rare situations when physical restraint is warranted.
  1. In all situations when physical contact between staff and pupils takes place, staff must consider the following:
  • The pupil’s age and level of understanding as to why physical contact is made.
  • The pupil’s individual characteristics (e.g. whether the physical contact might be misinterpreted or resented, this includes issues of the relative gender of staff and pupil).
  • The location where the contact takes place (e.g. it should not take place in private without other witnesses present).
  • It should not become a habitual act between a particular staff member and an individual pupil.
  • Physical contact should never be made as a punishment or in order to inflict pain.
  • All forms of corporal punishment are prohibited.
  • Physical contact should not be made with either participant’s neck breasts, abdomen, genital area, other sensitive body parts, or to put pressure on joints.
  1. The policy on physical contact between staff and pupils should be read in conjunction with other School policies, in particular the Health and Safety Policy and Child Protection Policy.
  2. Should physical contact between staff and pupils lead to an injury suffered by either party, a written report must be completed as soon as possible.
  3. Any complaints about physical contact should be dealt with using the Incident procedure. In cases of serious allegations, the Child Protection Procedure should be used.
  1. Physical restraint of pupils should only be used to avert an immediate danger to:
  • (a) the pupil
  • (b) other people
  • (c) the property of any person.
  • In accordance with the DfEE Guidance in Circular 10/98, Section 550A of the Education Act 1996 ‘The use of force to Control or Restrain Pupils’, physical intervention is also permitted:
  • “if the young person is committing a criminal offence (including behaving in a way that would be an offence if the young person were not under the age of criminal responsibility)”
  • “where a pupil is behaving in a way that is compromising good order and discipline”.
  • No more force than is reasonably necessary under the circumstances should be used.
Guidelines for Adult Helpers

I really appreciate you giving your time given to help, thank you. To ensure, as a helper you gain the best experience from Forest School and are able to help the children gain the best experience, please read the guidelines below:

  • Make observations of children and take note on interactions/likes/dislikes/behaviours
  • Be positive, celebrate successes, no matter how small, get involved but also give children space to enjoy their independence.
  • Encourage children to assess their own risks.
  • Follow my lead with any planned activities in the sessions, I may ask you to oversee/support with certain tasks.
  • Try joining in with activities. Be enthusiastic and show the children you are willing to ‘get your hands dirty’! If you are seen to be doing something the children are more likely to try something too.
  • Try to resist saying ‘no’ to children – if unsure of an activity check with me.
  • Use positive language with children whenever possible. If you spot them being unsafe or not following instructions ask them to assess what they should be doing by questioning them.
  • When children are carrying out child led activities join in but resist taking over, nothing is wrong at forest school. Children don’t have to do the planned activity if they are interested in something else.
  • Social and emotional development should be encouraged. Try to encourage children to share and work together. Talk through how children may feel in different situations.
  • Children should always be encouraged to treat the site with respect and not to physically damage anything.
  • As an adult the children should always be respectful towards you. If you feel that this is not the case inform the Forest Leader immediately. 
  • Adults that are not CRB checked should stay within sight of other adults.
  • Forest schools gives time for children to talk to you and open up. If anything is said, no matter how trivia, that worries you
  • inform the Forest Leader immediately.
  • If you see something that you feel is inappropriate behaviour inform the Forest School Leader immediately.
Lost Child Proceudres

In the event of a missing child all children must be called back to Forest School Leader and a head count to be taken. These children to remain secure with an adult. Leader and remainder of relevant staff to undertake an immediate search of the Forest School area and then the other outside areas and wider perimeter as well as school building. School staff, including Headteacher, to be notified off missing child by an adult. If child is not found, Notify the parents of the missing child. If necessary, notify the Police that there is a missing child. The Forest School Leader gathers as much information about the circumstances surrounding the incident.