Last day of our course was observation day! We started off with our homework task of teaching others to tie a knot we’d learnt (I taught others about Tommy the stopper knot!) before launching into our 20-minute sessions teaching the others as if they were participants.
Naturally, I put my hand up when they instructors asked who wanted to go first… so myself and another woman (whose name escapes me because I am just that bad with names) begun a session for “4/5 year olds” on woodland animal bones and matching them up to animals and puppets; then we took the “children” into the woods to build the homes for their woodland creatures – some adults were more imaginative than others!
All went well and with some positive feedback, it was the turn of other groups to deliver their sessions.
One group read a story about leaf creations and we were sent off into the woods to create our own ‘pictures’ from the natural materials in groups. My group was a ‘picture in a picture’ of the view made from leaves.
One group created a horse (which I thought was fab)
Following on that session, another group ran a session on using senses to connect with the environment – a 3-minute listening exercise – during each minute you were to draw/write/sketch what you could hear and how it made you feel. Very meditative and thoroughly enjoyable (plus a stark reminder of how little we actually listen to the world around us).
Another session I really liked was one group telling a story about meeting an ornithologist who was looking for a rare ground-nesting bird – you had to create the nests and think about this rare bird that would nest there.
Our lovely little creation:
I didn’t get to see the very last group’s effort because I had to leave early to get to London via the M25 (a two-hour journey that took 3 hours… but that’s another story).
To round up. I thought the training week as a whole very excellently delivered. Debs and Chris are very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate about Forest Schools – their delivery and the content was spot on. The practical day gave a lot of reassurance to the adults who had never used common bushcraft tools, the delivery/sessions day gave a lot of ideas and overall each day was fun and full of information. I now have to complete the assignments before November time to gain the certificate. Some of them will be easy because of my previous knowledge but some I will need to research. Overall, I would thoroughly recommend Woodland Adventures as a Forest School training provider to anyone looking to gain this qualification. I had a lot of fun and it was refreshing to be in the woods so much this week!