Saplings Forest School @Westonbirt Arboretum

Learning With Nature now runs weekly 'Saplings' Forest School sessions at Westonbirt Arboretum for home-schooled children (4 - 7 years of age) and their parents/carers.

Sessions will be 2 hours long and will be open to any young person who is of school age and would be in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 at the time of the course. We will expect a parent/guardian to accompany the young person during the session. The sessions will be available to book half termly and will run during school term times.

Sessions will focus on developing the young persons imagination, creativity and self-esteem whilst exploring and learning about the wonderful natural environment of the arboretum. Forest School helps to get everyone back to nature with a wildlife focus, creating a sense of woodland wonder and develops an outdoor knowledge through nature-based learning sessions. We can draw from wide areas of the curriculum encouraging development in areas of maths, english, science, geography, history and art whilst developing other key skills, for example encouraging communication skills in a group environment and physical skills by improving motor skills using tools. Research has shown that young people who play in natural environments undertake more diverse, creative and imaginative play, forming an important part of a young persons development.

Every week there will be a theme and information sheets will be sent out the week before the session so if you choose you can arrive early at the Arboretum and use them during your exploration and adventures before the session begins to discover more about our theme for the week. You could maybe enjoy a picnic lunch, and hopefully bring along any ideas these sheets have sparked, maybe natural items you have gathered, or even tell the group what you have spotted on your stroll.

Fires can be lit at the sessions, but we will leave it up to the young people to decide if they wish to light a fire and cook each week or only have one at the end of each half term.

Sessions will always have at least one Level 3 Forest School leader present.

The cost of the 5-week course will be £75 plus Eventbrite fee. Siblings are charged at £60 plus Eventbrite fee. All materials used in the session will be provided in the cost, if we cook food will be provided unless you choose to bring your own items to cook over the fire.

Younger siblings who are pre-school age may join in the sessions at the sibling rate, but please remember these sessions are primarily for Reception, Year1, and Year 2 age so we may be using tools and materials not suitable for the very young so it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to look after the younger attendee.

Each ticket for the course includes entrance into the arboretum for one parent/career attending the session with their young person. You are free to explore the Arboretum at your leisure on the day of your session.

Please no dogs to attend sessions, they cannot be left tied up outside our area either as the session time is too long to leave them unaccompanied.

All sessions are outside so please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and sensible footwear.

Spring Term, Monday 12:30-2:30pm, 5 sessions:  27th Feb, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March 2023

NB. If we have enough interest, we have the possibility of adding a second session on a Thursday afternoon, please e-mail: enquiries@learning-with-nature.org to express interest.