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Katie Embarks on a Forest School Adventure!

You may have noticed that Katie 'Fox' has been missing from the woods on a number of occasions over the past five weeks and most of this week!

Katie has started her Level 3 Forest School qualification taking place in Exmouth, the East coast of Devon. She has already completed her Paediatric and Forest School Outdoor First Aid qualification.

The year long course covers a whole range of theory including the Forest School ethos, woodland structures, ecological impact, history, theorists, policies, woodland management planning, sustainable woodland management and safety and tool maintanance. The practical side of the course includes facilitationg safe tool use, siting and managing a campfire, food safety, cooking and knots to name a few.

Katie has been an integral part of building up a successful Outdoor Learning programme here at St. Michael's. This has been led by following the interests of the children, being inspired by nature, flora and fauna, rhythm of the seasons, discovery, ecology, biodiversity, healthy living, marine topics and part of this delivery of the sessions also gained us ‘Plastic Free Status’ with Surfers Against Sewage, and finalist in the North Devon Business Awards 2022.

When asked why she was driven to undertake a qualification in this field, Katie explains; "I have already completed my Level 1 Forest School training & really enjoyed it. I see how being outside in nature is so beneficial for the children's learning and well-being."

Sounds like a very practical course and a chance to learn some new skills. Were there any highlights? "Siting and lighting a campfire was bound to be a good session. I found it absolutely fascinating learning how to start a fire with Birch bark and using alternative charcoal briquettes that you can forage for - literally fire starting fungi!"

Talking about future plans here at St. Michael's Katie enthuses, "We have so many ideas how we can develop the Forest School area and enhance our provision reaching out to even more people and delivering Forest School sessions to enhance children and adults alike - watch this space!"


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