Lucy Farley Level 3 Forest School Leader & Practitioner

I am passionate about reconnecting children with the great outdoors and nature.

After having two boys of my own and revelling in exploration of our local area with them and seeing the benefits from this, I felt I wanted to expand on this further within my career paths.

The opportunity arose in 2013 when I was able to embark on forest school leadership training with my previous place of work at a local pre school.

I qualified in 2014 and ever since then I have been very lucky to be able to incorporate my love of the outside with my work and share with others these fantastic experiences.

Forest school to me embodies everything I feel children have lost due to so called Nature deficit disorder, referring to the negative consequences of a childhood without sufficient time spent connecting with the natural world.

It enables children the freedom to roam, to learn in a fun safe way about the natural world and promotes health and happiness. Forest school can also help children gain confidence, the ability to learn new skills, become independent, sense of achievement and the ability to gain resilience.

My favourite thing about forest school is seeing the overwhelming sense of pride a child feels when they finally light their first piece of cotton wool with a fire steel, or climb a tree unaided and safely or build a den out of natural materials and sit and have their lunch in it.

I have so many memorable experiences I could go on forever, but I will leave with this thought.

‘No one will protect what they do not care about; and no one will care about what they’ve never experienced ‘

Sir David Attenborough

Forest School Update – ‘Second Session in Vines Woods’

This week was Kestrel’s second session this term but their first in Vines Woods. There is so much more space here and games such as ‘123 where are you are?’ is much more fun to play as there are so many places to hide! We started with this one and we also played ‘you are only safe if’ which helps us learn the names of trees. In Vines Wood there are really big trees called Hornbeams as well as Ash trees and Hazel nut bushes. We then sat around the fire circle and had a snack while Mrs Farley explained about the various activities she had prepared for us to do and also reminded us of the boundaries we needed to stay in if we wanted to do free play, so we would stay safe.

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Forest School Update – ‘Kestrels in Vines Woods’

Kestrel’s had another lovely spring day in Vines Woods.

We started with some safety rules as some of us needed reminding about keeping ourselves, and each other, safe in the woods. Then it was time for a couple of games.

We played ‘123 where are you’ and we are all really good at this now and Mrs Farley couldn’t see any of us to start with! It was the same when we played ‘Eagle Eyes’ when most of us got back to the eagle’s nest without being seen. We have become experts in playing these games!

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Forest School Update – ‘Spring Day in Vines Woods’

We had a beautiful Spring day in Vines Woods and it was really warm – what a difference a month makes! This week we all wanted to take off our coats and jumpers but we had to remember that we need long sleeves at Forest School so we don’t get scratched by brambles. Long sleeved T-shirts are on Mum’s shopping list for next week.

We started by learning a new game called ‘Eagle Eye’. It was similar to ‘123 where are you?’ but this time every time Mrs Farley, who pretended to be the eagle, closed her eyes and counted we had to move from our hiding places and try to get back to the eagle’s nest without being seen.

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Forest School Update – ‘Kestrels to Vines Woods’

This week was Kestrel’s second session this term but their first in Vines Woods. There is so much more space here and games such as ‘123 where are you are?’ is much more fun to play as there are so many places to hide! We started with this one and we also played ‘you are only safe if’ which helps us learn the names of trees. In Vines Wood there are really big trees called Hornbeams as well as Ash trees and Hazel nut bushes. We then sat around the fire circle and had a snack while Mrs Farley explained about the various activities she had prepared for us to do and also reminded us of the boundaries we needed to stay in if we wanted to do free play, so we would stay safe.

Read More