FSW AGM & Skillshare 2016

Saturday 29th AND Sunday 30th October 2016 (10am – 3pm)

forest-school-wales-agm-and-skillshare-2016_flyer

This year’s AGM and skillshare for Forest School Wales will be held at the Forest School site at Treborth Botanical gardens, near Bangor and everyone is very welcome to come and take part and enjoy being in the woods!

Forest School Wales AGM & Skillshare 2016_flyer (pdf to download)

Booking Form for FSW AGM Skillshare 2016

Agenda & nomination form FSW AGM 29th Oct 2016

It will be an outdoor event, to be held in the woods (shelter available if needed!), with plenty of chances to meet up with other Forest School practitioners, share your ideas and skills (there’s a space on the booking form for you to say which skill you’d like to bring to share – this could be anything from how to make stick people to a forest school recipe to how to handle admin in the woods), and look at the future of your organisation. Forest School Wales has always been a grassroots organisation by the members for the members, and so you are encouraged to get involved if you would like to. The sessions will all be outside or under canvas cover, so you’ll need to dress appropriately for the Welsh weather with sensible footwear.

Camping is available for the Friday night before the event, and on the Saturday night ~ pitch your tent  on site for £10 per night for FSW members or £15 per night non memeber.  We will share an outdoor breakfast in the morning. The site has a tap & compost toilet. There is also local accomodation available nearby if you prefer this.

There’s also a chance to get more involved in the future, as there’s space for more trustees to join Forest School Wales. Being a trustee is a fantastic way to get more involved in your organisation, as well as both sharing and gaining some great skills and experience – anyone considering this is welcome to talk to an existing trustee beforehand about what is involved
(contact Jo to arrange this – info@forestschoolwales.org.uk).

Versions of all documents in the old version of word, for those that need them:

Agenda and Nomination form_2016 old word version

Booking Form for AGM 2016 – old word version

Changes to NRW Education services from September 2016

Many people have worked with or used the land of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for Forest School, and one of it’s predecessors Forestry Commission Wales. In the letter downloadable from the link below is an important update about the way they are changing from this September. Please do read this, and if anyone has any thoughts to share on our response as an organisation to this then do get in touch.

Letter to Partners about Changes to NRW Education Service (pdf)

Forest School Wales Moot – 2nd July 2016

The beginning of July – the sun is high in the sky, the days are long and warm and so is the Forest – a great time of year to join other Forest School practitioners round a log circle to share ideas, skills and / or thoughts.

So Forest School Wales is organising a Moot, hosted by members at Nant yr Glyn Forest School, in Colwyn Bay to do just that, and it is just £5 members/£10 non-members as a contribution towards costs.

July 2016 FSW Moot Nant yr Glyn_flyer

Flyer for July 2016 FSW Moot.pdf

Booking form for July 2016 FSW Moot.docx (Word doc)

Booking form for July 2016 FSW Moot (old Word version)

You can also book on the online using the form at the bottom of the webpage and pay with PayPal.

The day will run from 10am -4.30pm and it will be an outdoor event, to be held in the woods (with a lovely shelter available if needed!), so bring suitable clothes and footwear (compost toilet and water onsite). There’ll be plenty of chances to meet up with other forest school practitioners, share your ideas and skills (there’s a space on the booking form for you to say which skill you’d like to bring to share – this could be anything from how to make stick people to a forest school recipe to how to handle admin in the woods).

For liftshares please indicate on the form if you can offer or would like to share a lift.

We will post local accomodation links on here once we have them – camping is not possible at this Forest School site.

The nearest train station is Colwyn Bay and lifts may also be possible from there (let us know if you’re coming by train).

Any questions contact Jo: info@forestschoolwales.org.uk

So tell all your friends and see you all there!

Forest School Wales Moot – Sunday 10th April 2016

April – new shoots and new growth in the woods – a great time of year to look for and share some new ideas while meeting up with other Forest School practitioners round a fire to share skills and / or thoughts.

So Forest School Wales is organising a Moot, hosted by members at Wild Spirit near Bridgend to do just that and it’s just £5 for members and £10 for non-members.
Flyer for April FSW Moot (pdf)

Flyer for April FSW Moot (pdf)

Booking form for April 2016 Moot  (Word doc)

Booking form for April 2016 Moot in the old version of word

It will be an outdoor event, to be held in the woods (with a lovely shelter available if needed!), so bring suitable clothes and footwear (compost toilet and water onsite). There’ll be plenty of chances to meet up with other forest school practitioners, share your ideas and skills (there’s a space on the booking form for you to say which skill you’d like to bring to share – this could be anything from how to make stick people to a forest school recipe to how to handle admin in the woods).

If you’re travelling and would like to stay over:

You can camp in the woods onsite the night before! There is a small charge for this (£15 yurt or hammock/ £10 own tent). Let us know if you’d like to do this when you book. There will be access to a compost toilet and water.
For liftshares please indicate on the form if you can offer or would like to share a lift.

The nearest train station is Bridgend and lifts may also be possible from there (let us know if you’re coming by train).

Any questions contact Jo: info@forestschoolwales.org.uk

So tell all your friends and see you all there!

You can also book on the online form below, and pay with paypal – any problems contact Jo.

Survey on CSSIW Regulation changes and how they affect Forest School

Please give your feedback on the new regulations, how these changes might affect you and how Forest School Wales can best support you with this by taking a couple of minutes to answer our short survey (just 5 really short questions!) which you can access HERE

Information for Forest School Wales members on the new CSSIW regulations

One of our trustees, Tom Cockbill, along with some other members of FSW have been looking at how the changes to the CSSIW* regulations will affect Forest School Practitioner that are offering playscheme provision to children under the age of 12 years old (as the age the regulations apply to is going up from 8 to 12). We would advise that you contact your local Play Officer in your local county for up to date info and the regulations can also be viewed in full HERE.
The first and most important thing is that, if you need to register, you will need to start sending in the forms ASAP; this requirement has changed very recently.
A lot will be down to the individual proving that they have suitable provision for looking after the children in their care.

For the more detailed summary from Tom of how the changes might affect Forest School provision, and what needs to happen next click HERE

*CSSIW stands for ‘Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales’, which is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring that the standards of the revised National Minimum Standards for Regulated Child Care are met.
To read the full criteria you can download the pdf HERE
Also see the information from CSSIW on the changes on their website HERE

Photos from February Moot

The Moot at the Wild in the Woods Forest School site, run by Wild Elements was a great day on Sunday 7th February 2016. Skills shared included whistle making (don’t forget to wet your whistle to make it work!), spiders web games, damper bread calzone making, dream catchers, info on the John Muir Awards and useful kit for a Forest School First aid kit. An album of photos from the day can be viewed on the skill-share page Thanks to all for contributing, hosting and taking part. The next skill-share will be in south Wales, date to be confirmed very soon!Feb 2016 moot group pic.jpg large

 

Forest School Wales Moot – Sunday 7th February 2016

February – a great time of year to enjoy some hot tea around the fire while meeting up with other Forest School practitioners to share ideas, skills and / or thoughts.

So Forest School Wales is organising a Moot, hosted by members at Wild Elements near Bangor to do just that. Booking form for Feb 2016 Moot

Feb 2016 FSW Moot Wild Elements_flyer-page-0

Feb 2016 FSW Moot Wild Elements_flyer pdf

Booking form for Feb 2016 Moot  (Word doc)

Booking form for Feb 2016 Moot (in old version of word)

It will be an outdoor event, to be held in the woods (shelter available if needed!) so bring suitable clothes and footwear. There’ll be plenty of chances to meet up with other forest school practitioners, share your ideas and skills (there’s a space on the booking form for you to say which skill you’d like to bring to share – this could be anything from how to make stick people to a forest school recipe to how to handle admin in the woods).

If you’re travelling and would like to stay over:

There’s unfortuntely no camping possiblities in the area in February.

However….

There is a bunk house near Bethesda  Caban Cysgu, is a bunkhouse in the village of Gerlan  and has arrange of rooms available Price cost £13.50 – £15 per night.
http://www.cabancysgu-gerlan.co.uk/index.html

There is also a travelodge close to the Site, which is currently £44 for the night https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/106/Bangor-hotel

For liftshares please indicate on the form if you can offer or would like to share a lift.

The nearest train station is Bangor and lifts may also be possible from there (let us know if you’re coming by train).

Any questions contact Jo: info@forestschoolwales.org.uk

So tell all your friends and see you all there!

Forest School Wales AGM and skillshare – Saturday 31st October

FSW AGM and skillshare flier 2015

This year’s AGM for Forest School Wales will be held at Wild Spirit bushcraft, which was the venue for one of the CPD days earlier this year.

FSW AGM flier 2015

Booking form for AGM 2015

Agenda & nomination form for FSW AGM 31st Oct 2015

AGM notice 2015

It will be an outdoor event, to be held in the woods (shelter available if needed!), with plenty of chances to meet up with other forest school practitioners, share your ideas and skills (there’s a space on the booking form for you to say which skill you’d like to bring to share – this could be anything from how to make stick people to a forest school recipe to how to handle admin in the woods), and look at the future of your organisation. Forest School Wales has always been a grassroots organisation by the members for the members, and this is the approach we’re looking at this time.

Camping is available for the Friday night before ~ pitch your tent in the woods or sleep in one of the existing shelters or hammocks (£15 to use a structure on site, £10 for your own tent or van). The site has a tap & compost toilet. The sessions will all be outside or under canvas cover, so you’ll need to dress appropriately for the Welsh weather with sensible footwear.

There’s also a chance to get more involved in the future, as there’s space for more trustees to join Forest School Wales. Being a trustee is a fantastic way to get more involved in your organisation, as well as both sharing and gaining some great skills and experience – anyone considering this is welcome to talk to an existing trustee beforehand about what is involved
(contact Jo to arrange this – info@forestschoolwales.org.uk).

Versions of all documents in the old version of word, for those that need them:

AGM notice 2015 – old word version

Agenda & nomination form – FSW AGM 31st Oct 2015 (old word version)

Booking form for AGM 2015 – old word version

CPD day for Forest School Wales: Literacy and Numeracy in the Context of Forest School 18th July 2015

A day of using the outdoors to link with the Literacy and Numeracy (LNF) framework for all Forest School practitioners. Learn how to incorporate literacy and numeracy into forest school sessions, with a day packed full of activities for you to take back to your setting.

FSW Literacy and Numeracy CPD flier 2015 – 18th July 2015

Only £25 a day for members of Forest School Wales (£35 for non members)

The course will be held at Plas Derw Trust, Northop, Flintshire CH7 6AA
(full travel directions on booking)
You will join experienced Forest School Practitioner and trainer Pippa Gallagher and colleagues for a day learning about the literacy and numeracy framework, and how it can be incorporated into Forest School sessions.
Plas Derw Trust have been established for ten years and run a variety of Forest School based projects and training, including Forest School leader training.
Pippa has also been a trustee of Forest School Wales.

Tea & coffee provided, and there will be soup on the fire, but please bring some lunch of your own too.

Student halls accommodation option available here:
http://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Accommodation/CorbishleyHall
Let us know if you are interested in accomodation for Friday and/or Saturday night (paid separately).

There are only 15 places available so do book in advance. Age 18+
To book return the Booking-form Literacy and Numeracy CPD day 2015 to:
Forest School Wales, Unit 6, Dyfi Eco Park, Machynlleth SY20 8AX

Or contact: Jo Cooper:
info@forestschoolwales.org.uk

For those without modern software  here is a version of the booking form in Word 2003 to download:
Booking-form Literacy and Numeracy CPD day 2015 Old Word version

You can also view the poster by clicking on the picture below:

FSW Literacy and Numeracy CPD flier 2015 - 18th July 2015

* Non members can join at the same time as booking if they wish to; membership forms can be found here: http://www.forestschoolwales.org.uk/aelodaeth-membership/join-now

CPD Day for FSW 13th June 2015 – Bushcraft

A day of bushcraft for all Forest School practitioners
Only £25 a day for members of Forest School Wales (£35 for non members*)

FSW Bushcraft CPD flier 2015 – 13th June

2 instructors available to run short sessions on any of the following (let us know what you would be interested in particular – 4 sessions over one day)

  • Shelter Building
  • Backwoods Cookery
  • Hammock and Tarp Set Up
  • Camp Craft (wood carving)
  • Food Foraging.
  • Friction Fire Lighting (native fiddle)
  • Safety and Hygiene
  • Locating Water
  • Safe use of Cutting Tools
  • Cordage (nettle)

The course will be held at Wild Spirit Bushcraft, near Bridgend (full travel details on booking)

You will join experienced Forest School Practitioner and bushcraft specialist Sasha Ufnowska and colleagues for a day learning about bushcraft, and how it can be incorporated into Forest school sessions.

Tea, coffee provided, please bring your own lunch.

Continue the bushcraft experience overnight if you wish with wild camping on site
Shared tipi or individual bushcraft hammocks – £15 per person
Bring your own tent – £10

Both options include a lovely breakfast
Access to compost toilets and water (no showers).

There are only 16 places available so do book in advance. Age 16+

To book return the Booking-form Bushcraft CPD day 2015 with your payment.
This needs to be by cheque, payable to ‘Forest School Wales’ and sent to the FSW office.to:
Forest School Wales, Unit 6, Dyfi Eco Park, Machynlleth SY20 8AX

For more info contact: Jo Cooper:
info@forestschoolwales.org.uk   www.forestschoolwales.org.uk

You can also view the poster by clicking on the picture below:

FSW Bushcraft CPD flier 2015 - 13th June-page-0

* Non members can join at the same time as booking if they wish to; membership forms can be found here: http://www.forestschoolwales.org.uk/aelodaeth-membership/join-now

CPD days 2015: Emotional Development and Facilitating Emotional Literacy in the context of Forest School

Hopefully everyone is aware of this day on 16th and 17th May now; here’s the information again just in case (it’s also on http://www.forestschoolwales.org.uk/event/cpd-days)

Emotional Development and Facilitating Emotional Literacy in the context of Forest School

16th May DAY 1: Exploring Emotional Development and Facilitating Emotional Literacy in the context of Forest School (introductory) 10am – 4pm This day is open to all

17th May DAY 2: Deepening exploration of Emotional Development and Facilitating Emotional Literacy in the context of Forest School (for those who have attended day 1, or the previous CPD day held in 2013 on this topic). 10am – 4pm

The tutor for both these days is experienced Forest School Practitioner and Play Therapist, Maggie Fearn MA DATP; more details on the content and on Maggie’s background can be found in the poster for the day: which you can download here: FSW Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Literacy CPD flier

The course will be held at Pistyllgwyn, Carmarthenshire (full details on booking). Accomodation is available for a good price at Pistyllgwyn if needed – contact for more details if you need this.

The cost of each day for members is £25 (non members pay £35 a day).

To book just return the booking form (click here to download it: Booking-form Emotional Intelligence CPD day 2015), with your payment. This needs to be by cheque, payable to ‘Forest School Wales’ and sent to the FSW office.
(You can also email me the booking form, and I’ll hold a provisional place for you until the payment arrives).

Please do also help us to publicise this day – non members can either join at the same time as booking, or pay the non members rate.

For those without modern software  here is a version of the booking form in Word 2003 to download: Booking-form Emotional Intelligence CPD day 2015 Old Word version

You can also view the poster by clicking on the picture below:

FSW Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Literacy CPD flier

21st February 2014 Information about trademarking Forest School name

Archimedes Trading Ltd is trying to trademark the Forest School Kindergarten and Forest Schools Kindergarten names.

If you disagree, please visit http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/1/UK00003033940 and complete a Threatened Opposition form, which is free to complete, this will expand the period to submit oppositions until the 10 April 2014.

If you would like more information, please get in touch with us by email

24th January 2014 Hot off the press! New resources for members.

The second set of new resources from last year’s CPD training days is available to members now.  From ‘Food, Fire and Fabulous Ideas: Tools, Techniques and Trinkets’ held at Plas Derw in July we have;  Making an Elder Whistle and Wooden Animals, and Natural Fire Lighting.  Please see the training resources page for more details.

Current discussion about the future of Forest School in Wales 23rd May 2013

It has been really helpful to get all the feedback from everyone around Wales about whether Wales should maintain a national organisation or become part of the UK FSA.  So far the majoprity of people have suggested they would prefer to keep a Welsh national organisation run by its members, which provides relevant services to meet local needs, is accessible and is representative of local members. We are pleased lots of people are also considering joining us as trustees or other volunteers.

The second most popular option, which needs more thought and discussion, is one which would need to be negotiated and have a larger consultation process with FSW members, whereby FSW became a regional branch of the FSA.  For example: FSA has a regional group already (Essex) with their membership and events administered on-line by FSA, and their membership fees would go to FSA and their activities are all organised voluntarily by themselves.

Thoughts and discussions continue.  Please come along to our National Networking weekend to talk in person about this exciting issue.  More details about the weekend and all the activities we are cramming in here

YSGOL GOEDWIG Gwarchodfa Natur Cae Poeth FOREST SCHOOL

 

One of our members. Cath Rigler, has written this report about a Forest School project she ran recently as part of her L3 training.  It could be useful reading for others wanting to set up their own project or understand what might be involved in attaining your L3 award.  If you are interested in working with Cath, please find her on the ‘Find a Forest School’ map.

YSGOL GOEDWIG Gwarchodfa Natur Cae Poeth FOREST SCHOOL

This Forest School was run voluntarily as part of Cath Rigler’s Level 3 (Forest School Leader) training. Other staff: Nelis Drost (Aberystwyth Conservation Volunteers), Anthea Cox (Play Ranger and Forest School Leader) and Nikki Reed (teacher at Ysgol Bro Ddyfi, Machynlleth)

Participants came from year 7 and were selected (officially) as high achievers, as a reward for doing well in their first year at secondary school, and (unofficially) to try and help some out with some problems they were facing during the transition period.

The first session took place in the school grounds, covering ideas, expectations, project ethics and fire safety.  [stextbox id=”custom” caption=”More details ….” collapsed=”true”]

Four sessions then took place at Gwarchodfa Natur Cae Poeth, the last being a ‘double’ session after the school had to cancel a session due to exams.

Funding for the minibus came from Dulas Engineering, a local company.

Sessions were run bilingually as much as possible. In practice, introductions and safety talks were usually in English and more informal chats between the session Leader and participants took place in Welsh.

1. The sessions.

During the sessions, we explored the site, coppiced some willow, made quadrants and looked at minibeasts, learnt to use handtools, to light and cook on a fire.

We drew with charcoal, balanced on logs, jumped streams, completed challenges, skimmed stones, toasted marshmallows, watched the tadpoles growing and the site get greener as the trees came into leaf.

We chilled out round the fire, chatted, laughed, grew as a team and learnt to support and respect ourselves, each other and the environment.

Emphasis was placed on group dynamics: there had been instances of bullying (both at primary and secondary schools) between some members of the group and hence staff were keen to establish an atmosphere where negative comments were unwelcome, where instead students helped, supported and praised each other. Gradually the group – which on the first sessions consisted more of friends working in their usual pairs – gelled as a group, with Welsh and English streams mixing. On the last 2 sessions even the chief ‘culprit’ (for negative remarks about others) was heard genuinely praising someone who on the first sessions he had only made disparaging remarks about. If the project had run for longer, we could have built on this – as it is, it is to be hoped that the positive group dynamics and shared experiences have been taken back into school life.

2.Feedback.

Feedback from participants and school was very positive. The head of year noticed how ‘upbeat’ the student were on their return to school. Session staff noted how all children became more confident, gelled as a group and enjoyed the sessions immensely.

3. The site.

Due to this project the site now has a three-year management plan – copies held by the project leader and site owner. This enables anyone who uses the site in future to know how the site is being managed and developed, ensuring continuity of care. It also puts the site more ‘on the map’ and hence more likely to be used by other groups in the future.

4. The School.

This was the first time the school has participated in Forest School sessions. Although originally we intended to work with the 14-19 Learning Pathways group, the school wouldn’t release this age group from lessons. Likewise, they felt that enough was being done for students who were struggling (academically and behaviourally) – hence their selecting participants as a ‘reward’ for doing well during the transition from primary to secondary school. The accompanying teacher really understood the Forest School ethic and was great to work with.

4. How the project could be improved.

Longer sessions, run over a longer period, would enable students to see more seasonal changes on site, to learn more skills and progress further in their own holistic and group development. Secure on-site storage would mean less need to carry all equipment down/up the hill, and also enable students to have more choice, to follow through with their own ideas rather than having to wait until the following week to start. This would enable more student-led activities to take place.

5. The future.

Both the accompanying teacher and head of year are keen for more projects to go ahead, as are the landowners and all staff. It may be possible to work closely with practitioners who are working with local primary schools, to run projects that tie in year 6 and 7 – giving continuity of educational experience throughout the transition period. Future Forest School projects will be funding dependant. Regular skillshare/conservation weekends will also continue to be held on site, open to members of the public – the next one will run on June 29 and 30, 2012.

FOREST EDUCATION INITIATIVE FOREST SCHOOL TRAINING GRANT

The grant enabled me to train as a Forest School Leader, to update my first aid qualification and to buy some equipment to add to the Dyfi FEI cluster Group Forest School tool bags.

Through the training, six Forest School sessions were run on site and a great relationship built up with a school that had not been regularly involved in Outdoor / Forest Education beforehand. Twelve year 7 pupils enjoyed the sessions immensely – an age group that hadn’t been involved on this site before. The sessions have led to further site development – rearranging the fire pit area and plans to create a new glade as a ‘kitchen’ area- to be started at the next skillshare/conservation weekend on site at the end of June.

Personally, the training enabled me to inform my practice, to forge links with other local practitioners and the school, and to get involved in the Forest School sessions currently being run for the local Outside Education group – I will be co-running sessions for them in the Autumn. It also helped me focus on using Welsh more as a medium in which to work: the students enjoyed helping me out when I got stuck and those who were in the Welsh stream appreciated the fact that sessions were bilingual, that they could use their first language and not have to communicate solely in English (Forest School sessions in this area seem to be sadly dominated by non-Welsh speakers: I am determined to keep learning and helping to redress this imbalance!).

Finally, one of the staff members is a member of Aberystwyth FEI cluster group, so keeping links between Dyfi and Aberystwyth cluster groups: it is hoped (and planned!) that these two groups can work together more in the future, to bring more Forest School sessions to more young people in the area, both via schools and via sessions open to the public.

INCOME:

Forest Education Initiative Forest School Training Grant 1,000

EXPENDITURE:

OCNLevel 3 training with Forest School SNPT 850

First Aid at Work certificate with CRT Medical 130

Cord for shelter building – added to Dyif FEI kit 20

Total expenditure: 1,000

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North Wales Skillshare at Penrhyn Castle

 

This event has passed.  Please see our photo album on our Facebook page  or contact us for more details of our next skillshare event on  info@forestschoolwales.org.uk

FSW meets the new NGB development Officer

Four members of the FSW management board were delighted to meet with the new FS NGB Development Officer, Erica Wellings recently, to consult with her on the business plan she will be writing for the formation of a FS NGB.  The meeting, hosted by Swansea Neath Port Talbot FS, allowed Erica to meet with some of the most experienced FS practitioners in Wales to discuss a range of issues including  training, priorities for development, the importance of Play, and the role of FSW within the future body.

Awi Frances highlighted the urgent need for funding for Forest School delivery, and everyone emphasised the importance of opportunities for skillshare and continuous professional development training in maintaining high standards of Forest School delivery.  Forest School Wales has invited Erica to attend some of our skillshare events this year in order to meet more FS practitioners.  Details to be posted shortly.

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NGB Development Offcier Erica Welling chatting to teacher Fran Hoare of Ysgol Tir MorfaErica was also able to visit a Forest School session in North Wales with pupils from Ysgol Tir Morfa, where six years of tapering delivery from independent practitioner Sarah Wilson coupled with increasing capacity within the school have created high quality cohesive Forest School provision.  Erica was interested in this model as an alternative to that where schools establish their own Forest Schools programmes with little contact with other FS Leaders.

Originally from Cardiff, Erica has a good understanding of the relationship between Welsh and English governments, and FSW board members felt she is ideally placed to ensure that the experiences and needs of welsh FS practitioners are clearly represented within the NGB business plan.

Erica’s appointment as FS NGB Development Officer is the result of last Autumn’s survey which, according to the NGB Steering Group, established a clear mandate to set up a UK-wide governing body for Forest School.

Over the coming months Erica will be consulting widely with interested parties throughout the UK.

One main focus of Erica’s work will be to establish clearly defined national occupational standards for the FSL training and qualification.  She will also be considering what structure will best suit the NGB, and how it can support high standards of FS delivery.

Forest School Wales is being copied into the minutes of the NGB Steering Group meetings, the main role of which from now on will be to support Erica.

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New Space and Face for Forest School Wales!

Please note the Forest School Wales office is based in the new Forestry Hub in Machynlleth:

New address and telephone number, same email:

Forest School Wales
Unit 6
Dyfi Eco-Park
Machynlleth   SY20 8AX

Email:  info@forestschoolwales.org.uk

Tel: 0845 4560342

Our admin assistant Barbara Haddrill will be in the office on Thursdays, but as there is a switchboard, please ring anytime or send an email and she will get back to you asap.

See below for photos and more information about the people and groups involved in the new Forestry Hub.

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In October Hazel Wildwood handed over her badges of office to our new admin assistant Barbara Haddrill. Trustees presented Hazel with a small Witchhazel (Hamamelis Mollis), in thanks for her all hard work supporting FSW and members for the past four years.

Hazel will be concentrating on her own tree business and a local community tree nursery project, and hopes to be able to offer training for members of FSW in 2011. We all wish her the best of luck.

We also said a sad goodbye to Caswell Bay.
YGC/FSW is very grateful to Swansea City Council and Forest School SNPT for hosting FSW for nearly a decade.

The Forest School Wales office is now located in the Dyfi Eco Park in Machynlleth, where a Forestry Hub has recently been established by Forestry Commission Wales and the Wales Forest Business Partnership in order to boost partnership working between organisations working in Welsh woodlands.

We are very grateful to Frankie Owen of the Wales Forest Business Partnership and Barbara Anglezarke of FCW for supporting FSW to make this move.

Barbara Haddrill has been with FSW since October 2010.  When she is not working for FSW, Barbara and her horses Tyler and Billy, provide low carbon countryside maintenance muscle, moving logs and bashing bracken. Barbara also works to promote her book ~ Babs to Brisbane ~ which recounts her experiences of travelling to Australia to be a bridesmaid without using aeroplanes, to raise awareness about the effect of air travel on climate change.

Our New Home

The newly established Forestry Hub in the Dyfi Eco Park, Machynlleth brings together in a single office base a range of organisations, from community woodland groups to commercial forest industry organisations.
The Wales Forest Business Partnership’s office has been transformed into the new hub and in addition to Forest School Wales, staff from Coed Lleol, Llais y Goedwig and the Dyfi Woodland Group have already moved into their new base, and will be joined by Wood Fuel Wales and Wood Source Wales over the coming weeks.

The Wales Forest Business Partnership has welcomed the creation of the forestry hub. Partnership Manager Frankie Owen said, “At a number of our recent events, one of the most striking conclusions was that all parties face the challenge of how to better share the knowledge and experience that exists within the timber sector. We expect the new forestry hub will be one more step in making those connections, helping to improve competitiveness of businesses and the sector.”

Barbara Anglezarke, Forestry Commission Wales’s Policy and Programme Manager, said, “A key outcome of the Woodlands for Wales strategy is that people understand the huge range of benefits that woodlands can offer, and that the forestry sector becomes better integrated and more competitive, thus supporting the Welsh economy.
Having such a range of organisations working from the forestry hub will lead to a better understanding of opportunities, co-operative working and shared initiatives within the sector. In addition, overheads for all the organisations will be reduced so that more resources can be used to deliver activities.”

In addition to “hot desks” the forestry hub will also contain a meeting room, and office space for Forestry Commission Wales staff. [/stextbox]

Playlink

Common Sense Common Safety

Lord Young of Grantham’s report to the Prime Minister – Common Sense, Common Safety – has just been published. It contains important recommendations across the board in respect of health and safety practice.

The report’s analysis and resulting recommendations respond positively to many of the concerns many of us have been voicing for some years.

The extracts below have been circulated by PLAYLINK and will be of particular interest to the play, leisure and recreation sectors, education including outdoor activities, and the voluntary sector.

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PLAYLINK has circulated this information to alert practitioners to the report and to offer a taste of its findings.

‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ is well worth reading in full. It can be found at: http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/topstorynews/2010/10/lord-young-report-55605

From PLAYLINK’s perspective, we want to draw particular attention to the significance accorded to:

  • Taking a ‘common sense’ approach to health and safety. As many readers will know, PLAYLINK, with others, has promoted the inestimable value of deploying common sense to inform judgment.
  • Shifting ‘from a system of risk assessment to a system of risk-benefit assessment’ (context for this quote appears in full below).
  • Considering reviewing the Health and Safety at Work etc Act ‘to separate out play and leisure from workplace contexts’.

Please circulate this eNewsletter to others who may be interested. Do contact us if you want to discuss the report and its potential implications. If you are not already subscribed to the PLAYLINK eNewsletter you may care to do so now.

Common Sense, Common Safety: extracts

From the Prime Minister’s foreword to the report:

We simply cannot go on like this. That’s why I asked Lord Young to do this review and put some common sense back into health and safety. And that’s exactly what he has done.

I hope this review can be a turning point. Lord Young has come forward with a wide range of far reaching proposals which this Government fully supports. We’re going to curtail the promotional activities of claims management companies and the compensation culture they help perpetuate. We’re going to end the unnecessary bureaucracy that drains creativity and innovation from our businesses.

And we’re going to put a stop to the senseless rules that get in the way of volunteering, stop adults from helping out with other people’s children and penalise our police and fire services for acts of bravery.

Instead, we’re going to focus regulations where they are most needed; with a new system that is proportionate, not bureaucratic; that treats adults like adults and reinstates some common sense and trust.

Extract from the Executive Summary

My report highlights the role that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities have in promoting a common sense approach to health and safety. Their role is pivotal in ensuring that businesses, schools and voluntary organisations can operate in a way where health and safety is applied in a proportionate manner.
Extract from section on Local authorities

There is some inconsistency across local authorities, and the rules on health and safety are not always applied with a view to a proper risk management approach. In some instances it is clear that officials are giving poor advice to organisations and individuals, who are in turn prevented from running an event (for example a school fete) when there is no legitimate reason not to on health and safety grounds. However, there is no requirement to put these reasons in writing and the specific grounds for the decision are often not made transparent.

There is also currently no system for appeal or redress when an event is banned or curtailed ‘for health and safety reasons’. They are simply required to accept the decision and not go ahead with the event as planned. They could also be discouraged from even planning such an event for fear or expectation that a local authority official will not allow it.

I would like to see the Government put a system in place whereby individuals have the right to ask local authority officials who ban events on health and safety grounds to put their reasons in writing.

Extract from section on Adventure training

I would recommend that we abolish the licensing of adventurous activities through the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority and instead introduce a code of practice that the HSE will oversee and monitor. The HSE should also ensure that those planning trips can feel confident that a provider is compliant with the code. Since this is a devolved issue, I will work with the devolved administrations on taking forward this initiative in Scotland and Wales.Extract from section on Educational visits

There have been a number of cases where schools have prevented pupils from taking part in educational visits citing health and safety as the reason for non-participation.

The process for taking children on educational visits involves a huge amount of form-filling – ranging from consent forms to risk assessments… This process can involve excessive bureaucracy that is not proportionate to the role it plays in reducing the risk of accidents. It merely serves as a deterrent and an excuse to ‘do nothing’.

As a consequence, children are potentially missing out on vital education because schools just do not have the time and resource to carry out the process and, if they do, they are too concerned about the threat of legal action should an accident happen.

We should simplify the process that schools and similar organisations undertake before taking children on trips. We should introduce a single consent form, signed by a parent or guardian, which covers all activities a child may undertake during their time at a school, enabling parents to opt out of any specific activities. Consent is already not required for activities which take place during the school day and in order to reduce the amount of bureaucracy around school trips we should underline this message to schools and local authorities.

Finally, we should introduce a simplified risk assessment for classrooms which could be made available on the HSE website. The website could also provide checklists for areas in which a fuller risk assessment is required, such as sports facilities, laboratories and workshops.

Extract from section on Children’s play areas

A further area of concern is the impact of health and safety on children’s play areas. In legal terms, play provision is guided by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. There is a widely held belief within the play sector that misinterpretations of the Act are leading to the creation of uninspiring play spaces that do not enable children to experience risk. Such play is vital for a child’s development and should not be sacrificed to the cause of overzealous and disproportionate risk assessments.

This is a further example of how legislation primarily conceived to be applied in a hazardous environment is being brought into an environment for which it is unsuited with damaging consequences.

I believe that with regard to children’s play we should shift from a system of risk assessment to a system of risk–benefit assessment, where potential positive impacts are weighed against potential risk. These ideas inform the play programme developed by the Department for Education and Department for Culture, Media and Sport and I would like to see them developed more widely. Furthermore we should consider reviewing the Health and Safety at Work etc Act to separate out play and leisure from workplace contexts.

Risk-benefit links

http://www.playlink.org/pubs/Risk-bformWeb15.12.09.pdf

http://www.playlink.org/services/risk_and_play/risk_assessment_workshop.html

About PLAYLINK

http://www.playlink.org/What-is-it

We would appreciate your help in disseminating information about PLAYLINK’s work.

If you care to, please:

1. Send this notice to individuals and organisations offering them the opportunity to join the PLAYLINK/Freeplay Network emailing list. This will help keep them informed about events and developments.
2. If you are signing on for the first time, click the link below to record your contact details.

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Tel: 0207 720 2452 – Web: http://playlink.org/ – Email: info@playlink.org
Content copyright (c) PLAYLINK 2006 unless otherwise stated

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Home Education and Forest School

The Forest School approach is ideally suited to home educating families as it is based around child led experiential learning. Home educating families have specific circumstances and needs that are distinct from other groups and it is vital to understand and address these needs when running activities.

Follow this link to download a summary of the Forest School Home Education Project in the Dyfi Valley in mid-Wales in 2009.

The full report is available for members of Forest School Wales to download from the Other Resources / Advice and Questions / Home Education and Forest School section of this website.