Fox & Cubs Forest School Consent Form
At Fox & Cubs Forest School we want everyone to be safe and enjoy themselves, so we have a few rules we ask everyone to follow:
- Look after ourselves
- Look after each other
- Look after our woods and the environment
Forest school takes place in a natural woodland or garden/parkland setting and the site is risk assessed and checked before any session to ensure forest school is as safe as is reasonably practicable. However, forest school activities are by their nature never completely hazard free and participants should understand outdoor forest school sessions cannot be completely risk free.
Respect for Nature
Learning about our environment and how we, as humans, impact upon it can help to create a sense of ownership and in turn increases our respect for all living things. At Forest School participants are encouraged not to pick wild and living things.
Remember the FS boundaries
We mark out boundaries using natural or existing features such as fences or green barriers, by marking with flags or stop hands and by playing games to remember them. Keeping within the boundaries is essential when attending sessions as only the area within the boundaries has been checked as safe to explore and to take risks. It also helps us minimise our impact.
Leave no trace
Forest school sessions will always have an impact on the environment however we minimise our impact by removing equipment, rubbish and anything we have created as we leave. We try and give back to nature, and through improving our sites, with woodland management, planting, and perhaps making a bug hotel or other habitat. Sometimes we may rotate or rest our sites to give the woodland time to recover.
Working with tools
Safe use of tools is practised at Forest School and participants can only use tools when supervised 1:1 or 1:2 by an experienced adult. Within the session children will find out about the potential of tools and how useful they can be but also how dangerous they can be when used incorrectly.
Respecting the Fire Circle
When we have a fire, there will be two circles around it. The outer one is made of seats to sit on around the fire. The inner circle holds the fire and is a boundary never to be crossed as it is in place to keep the children safe. Participants must never walk through the fire circle and go around the outside. Participants can only come inside the outer circle when invited.
Lighting a fire
When lighting a fire the Forest School leader will take control of the operation. A lit fire will not be left unattended at any point. A fire may not be lit until it has been confirmed to all that our fire safety equipment is in place. Any fire will always be safely extinguished by the Forest School Leader. Nobody should enter the fire circle without being invited to by the Forest School Leader and no one should walk through the fire circle at any point.
Picking up and playing with sticks & stones
We encourage children to use sticks and stones but always think of others when doing so. Stones can be rolled, carried and used for art – but never thrown. Children can carry sticks but make sure they think about how close they are to other children. Long sticks should be transported like a wizard’s staff to keep them from unintentionally (or otherwise!) poking other children. Longer sticks can be dragged/taken for a walk or carried with a child at both ends. Sticks must not be thrown, nor should children be allowed to pull them from living trees. We consider Sticks and Stones as tools, not weapons.
Rope and string use
We encourage connecting and transporting materials. If a child has a good idea and wants, for example, to try to build a rope swing or a shelter we will help them and use the chance to model appropriate knot tying. We always take care when using ropes and string as they can be tripping hazards, and ropes can burn if pulled.
Parents and carers are responsible for their children at all times when in the museum grounds and buildings. Parents should be aware of where their children are and supervise at all times, being particularly mindful of the Museum boundary wall, access road and castle mound which is very steep. We reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone whose behaviour does not comply with our code of conduct and puts anyone in danger at forest school. A minimum of one adult per two attending children is required at any session. Due to covid-19 guidance, only one accompanying adult is permitted to attend the session.
Activities take place outdoors and children should wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the conditions (see information sheet). Long sleeves/trouser legs, even in summer, help avoid insect bites and scratches from prickly plants.
We reserve the right to cancel forest school if insufficient bookings are taken which make the session unviable. Payment should be made in advance and is non-refundable unless the session is cancelled. The right to refuse bookings with sole discretion is reserved be that of any individual or group without need to give reasons. In the case of severe weather (snow, thunderstorms, high winds), families will be notified at the latest by 9am on the day via email and facebook/twitter/Instagram announcement, and sessions will be refunded.
A consent form must be completed for all participants and by the person with parental responsibility for anyone under 18 years. This is a requirement for participation.
In line with the GDPR guidelines as of 25th May 2018, Fox & Cubs Forest School and Wycombe Museum are committed to protecting your data. if you have any queries about data protection, please contact us.
Being outdoors in nature reduces stress, keeps immunity strong, builds resilience and a sense of community and keeps us physically healthy. Forest school promotes holistic learning and development, and given the weeks of lockdown, uncertainty and anxiety experienced by families, our children will benefit from the opportunity to build and develop social and emotional skills at Forest School while practising social distancing and in a much lower risk environment outdoors. There are less surfaces to touch, more circulation of air and therefore a lower viral count and more space to actively encourage social distancing. There will be some modifications in standard forest school practice to reduce risks – such as removal of certain equipment, separating/not sharing equipment, regular surface and equipment cleaning/quarantine and frequent handwashing/sanitising. Wycombe Museum is a Covid-19 safe venue, and our sessions are continuously risk assessed and modified to comply with the current Government guidance for Covid-19. Please read and consent to the Covid Compliance Agreement.
Fox & Cubs are working closely with Wycombe Museum to make sure our community is as safe as possible with regard to COVID-19. Fox & Cubs’ Covid Risk Assessment can be found on our website and should be read in conjunction with our general terms & conditions.
We are following the latest government guidelines for outdoor education providers and must ask all parents and participants to confirm that they will comply with the following when resuming joining us at Fox & Cubs sessions:
- Keep socially distanced at 2 metres or an absolute minimum of one metre from adults at all times – young children are not expected to socially distance
- Wearing a face covering outdoors is not compulsory providing social distancing is maintained however, we request accompanying adults wear a face covering when sitting at the Fire Circle.
- Wash hands or sanitise on arrival – you will be directed to a handwashing station
- Please wear a face mask if you need to enter the Museum building to use the toilet
- Please wash hands/sanitise frequently throughout the session and before/after leaving the mud kitchen.
- Please place any equipment which has been ‘mouthed’ or soiled by young children in the cleaning trug so it can be disinfected
- Family kit bags will be provided so you have your own set of equipment for the session – please do not share this equipment with other children/families and return it to the cleaning trug at the end of the session.
- We will not be providing drinks to start with, so please bring your own
- Keep belongings to a minimum and always with you.
- Please follow any one-way systems in place
- Use hand sanitizer provided on entry to buildings.
- Understand that we keep attendance records of every session to support NHS Track and Trace requests and to determine whether advice needs to be given to other participants.
- If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19 they should not attend Fox & Cubs until a negative test is confirmed. Your booking will be transferred to another session or refunded.
- If anyone has a positive COVID-19 test they must follow government guidelines and inform the museum as soon as possible.
- If any participant exhibits symptoms during a session, they will be asked to leave the session to isolate – thank you for your cooperation and understanding.