Friday, 22 May 2009

Forest Schools Training Day

I've been in south Devon all day, at a place called Escot (Google it if your interested) on an INSET day with school. We were training for Forest Schools, a new initiative my boss has introduced, getting children to learn in the great outdoors. We were all a bit worried before we went down, having visions of being out in the middle of nowhere and having to fend for ourselves, but it turns out it was all most civilised.

We had coffee and croissants for breakfast in a tarp-covered shelter, learned how to make a name badge by sawing a bit off the end of a tree branch, then went for a nice stroll around the grounds of the stately house. There are playgrounds, slides and swings in the middle of the forest, a bid of prey centre - its great. Once in the forest we had serious training to do. We blindfolded each other and led our partners to a tree and away again. Then we had to find the tree we'd been taken to. After that we had to walk with mirrors held up to our noses so we could see the tree tops - Sky Eyes they were called. And if you think the sight of a bunch of teachers walk around a forest with mirrors glued to their noses is ridiculous you should have seen the five of us who were brave enough to wade barefoot up to our knees through a wetland bog! Unfortunately the only photos are on the school camera, which I don't have. But watch this space cos Jo and I loved it so much we are taking our kids back in half term.

The only thing I really wasn't sure about was the squirrel stew they served us for lunch!

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