Role of The Forest School Leader

This is by no means exhaustive, but gives some good jumping off points and explains a little of what I do as a Forest School Practitioner.

Truth is, it will often look like i’m not doing very much…

What you see is me NOT getting involved, NOT joining in unless i’m invited, NOT shouting “Be Careful” or “Don’t run” or asking children to share nicely. You will probably notice me not doing more than you will see me do.

So What exactly do you do!?

Well for every hour I spend in sessions, i’m spending another 2 planning and evaluating. I observe the play and activities throughout a session & look to build on each individuals interest and experience in the following session.

I am looking for specific areas to be able to scaffold the children’s learning – do I have some enjoying immersive activities – how can I build on this? Do I have some fascinated by bug hunting – what books can I bring next week to help our identification? Do I have children making dens from natural materials – bring tarps and paracord next week.

Creating Space

I am also there as a guardian for their freedom – for their permission to play & explore, to try and not fear failure, to get dirty! I am providing an environment where they are supported to work things out with support but not directive. I am empowering them with the confidence to navigate their environment and their social relationships.

I am facilitating their learning, but they are in the driving seat. I am keeping them safe, I am dynamically risk assessing throughout the evolving session & I am giving them the opportunity to develop the ability to risk assess themselves. I am making sure they are comfortable & know they are cared for and listened to.

I am their biggest cheerleader, whatever they decide to do or not do. While they are in my session they can just Be.

I am also an Outdoor Emergency 1st Aider…just in case!

Click on the link below for access to my mind map – I found creating these was a great way to organise my thoughts throughout the process of creating my portfolio.