The following workshops are confirmed for the 2017 national Forest School conference (7th to 9th July)

CLICK to book your place now

SUMMARIES OF CONFIRMED WORKSHOPS BELOW

 

The Happiness Tree – A Magical Healing Story – by Danny English – An introduction to story and its power to learn and heal.

This workshop aims to merge storytelling with the therapeutic benefits of spending time in the outdoors. Danny will be telling a magical and unique story of his own that deals with the topic of healing through nature connection and includes the opportunity to make a willow crown.

Danny is the founder and Director of CommuniTree (www.communitree.co.uk) an Outdoor Education project operating in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Sit Spots for Wellbeing by Dr Chris Walton and Mell Harrison

This workshop focuses on inspiring the facilitation of sit spots for children, young people and ourselves. A series of sensory activities and stories build up to create a solitary ‘sit spot’ in nature. In turn this shows how a creative and slow pace to nature connection can support the creation of space to improve wellbeing. The workshop will also offer the opportunity to discuss how sit spots could be integrated into Forest School for all ages and you will hear about the latest research in this area.

Mell joined the Green Light Trust in 2016 and has been facilitating Nature Connection work for over 15 years. She has worked with all ages and abilities, facilitating through the theories of Forest School, Earth Education, Nature Connection and Environmental Education www.greenlighttrust.org

Dr Chris Walton has been researching Sit Spots and will present the latest findings.

Until he retired in 2015 Chris Walton was Co-Director of the Ringsfield EcoActivity Centre in Suffolk. He is a Baptist minister and his lifelong care of children and young people resulted in his PhD research which investigated the responses of children to solitude in the natural world. Now Chair of the Ringsfield Hall Trust, his work focuses on providing opportunities for carers and teachers to gain insight into the experience of children and young people.

“Great Forest School Bake Off” – creative camp fire cooking to support wellbeing with teenagers by Mell Harrison

This workshop will be a practical session experimenting with campfire cooking to develop creativity and help build self-esteem and show how it can support teenagers’ holistic wellbeing. It will involve foraging some common plants and conclude with a ‘Great Forest School Bake Off’ using different cooking techniques.

Mell joined the Green Light Trust in 2016 and has been facilitating Nature Connection work for over 15 years. She has worked with all ages and abilities, facilitating through the theories of Forest School, Earth Education, Nature Connection and Environmental Education www.greenlighttrust.org

Taking a Rope by Elizabeth Swift

Using ropes this workshop explores and explains children’s natural movement play and how it impacts on their holistic development and the theory behind it.

Elizabeth Swift is a co-founder of the Forest School organization, huathe, and divides her working time between training Forest School leaders; leading Forest School projects; lecturing on early-years degree courses at a local university and leading natural voice singing groups. She set up huathe in 2011 with Carol Middleton to help reconnect adults and children to nature, to each other and to themselves www.huathe.org

“Goldilocks, Pinocchio, Red Riding Hood, Beauty or Beast?” How do we know what is well-being and then what our level of well-being is?? By Jon Cree

To justify our Forest School provision, we increasingly must demonstrate the impact it has on well-being.  This workshop will explore several ways of defining well-being and how we work with our learners at Forest School to assess our well-being – learners and practitioners alike - so it feels like an integral part of the FS experience. It will involve active exercises that include movement, dialogue, use of artefacts such as puppets, trees and visual methods. These will then be compared to paper based ‘scale’ exercises. We will also look at how to involve those with special needs in expressing and assessing their own well-being.

Jon is a FSA Director and has been involved with training in environmental and outdoor learning for over 30 years and been a Forest School trainer for 10 years.  He has worked at FSC Bishops Wood Centre for the last 17 years as training co-ordinator and manager of the teenage programmes run at the centre http://www.field-studies-council.org/centres/bishopswood.aspx

Free your imagination, free your voice, free yourself! By Iza Moon

Using group singing and storytelling, I will be inviting participants to be involved in a joyful journey of the imagination and creative, soulful expression.  I will lead some simple, uplifting group singing where we will discover that we ALL have a voice. We will feel the exhilaration, harmony and strength that comes from working together as One Common Voice. I will then tell a short story to evoke the imaginations. We will then explore and discuss what makes a good story and a good storyteller and what the benefits of stories for adults and children? I will then invite participants, in small groups to have some fun and create and share a short, simple story with a meaningful message. The workshop will benefit all involved and will also provide participants with transferable skills which will be particularly useful, engaging and fun when working with children.

Iza is a travelling Songstress, Poet, Storyteller and Alternative Therapist. She has been drawn to alternative ways of living my life, and has lived 'off grid' for the last 12 years. Through her own journey of self-healing and self-discovery she has discovered her own well-being, and now uses this learning and experience to help others with their well-being through use of the voice.

Re-igniting the Spark Within by Iza Moon

This workshop will be a soothing and uplifting journey of my own original Soul-Full Songs, interspersed with enchanting Storytelling, poignant Poetry and empowering Visualisations. It will culminate in an outdoor Fire Ceremony - an ancient and magical form of ceremony, where participants will be guided through this ancient and incredibly memorable experience. This is an opportunity for people to release, through the Fire, thoughts and emotions that no longer serve them, and then offer to the Fire, their wishes, dreams, prayers and aspirations, both for themselves and for the Greater Good of our planet.

Iza is a travelling Songstress, Poet, Storyteller and Alternative Therapist. She has been drawn to alternative ways of living my life, and has lived 'off grid' for the last 12 years. Through her own journey of self-healing and self-discovery she has discovered her own well-being, and now uses this learning and experience to help others with their well-being through use of the voice.

Woodland Meditation and Mindfulness for Wellbeing by Vanessa White

The workshop will offer participants an introductory session on the use of mindfulness and meditation for wellbeing. It will include a guided, walking meditation (in barefoot for those who would like to). It will include activities that support mindful participation using natural materials and the environment and may include felt making, basic weaving or natural art formations.

Vanessa is a qualified Mindfulness and Meditation teacher and runs 8 week courses on these therapies. She is also a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner, Trainer and Facilitator for Learning Through Landscapes and a freelance trainer on outdoor learning.

Voices from the Heart – using Singing as part of Forest School Practice by Elizabeth Swift

The workshop will share some ideas on how to make singing easy and give Forest School leaders the confidence to introduce songs and singing to Forest School practice. It will look at Natural Voice techniques and practices which help make singing an easy and integral part of Forest School practice and gives everybody the chance to have a good outdoor sing too!

Elizabeth is a co-founder of the Forest School organization, huathe, and divides her working time between training Forest School leaders; leading Forest School projects; lecturing on early-years degree courses at a local University and leading natural voice singing groups.    She set up huathe in 2011 with Carol Middleton to help reconnect adults and children to nature, to each other and to themselves. Huathe draws on first hand international teaching in nature connection combined with a deep understanding of child development and group dynamics www.huathe.org

Projects with Willow – Obelisks and Wreaths by Sue Croasdale

This workshop will demonstrate how therapeutic and rewarding creating projects with willow can be, for all ages. It will introduce willow as a great craft resource for Forest School demonstrating how to make obelisks and wreaths to take home. It will also be an opportunity to share ideas, discuss cost and accessibility to materials and will be fun and rewarding too.

Sue works as a lecturer in Childhood Studies at Blackburn College in Lancashire, teaching on the CACHE Level 3 Childcare and Education (with Early Years Educator Status) to students in the Further Education Sector. She has long had a passion for outdoor play and as part of her Masters studies did research into Forest Schools which sparked her desire to train as a Forest School educator.

Autism and Forest School by Michael James

The workshop aims to raise autism awareness amongst Forest School practitioners with little prior knowledge of ASD, to discuss the benefits of a Forest School approach for autistic learners, and provide an opportunity for those already providing sessions which include autistic learners to share practice and ideas. It will involve activities which will help to focus on the needs and experience of autistic learners and will also involve role play scenarios to encourage people to put some of the approaches which have been discussed into practice.

Michael works work for The National Autistic Society as Forest School Coordinator based in Bath & North East Somerset (BANES), a role which involves managing and delivering Forest School to adults with ASD. As well as providing sessions for autistic learners, he created a year-long voluntary position for a young man with Asperger’s who worked alongside him and was awarded the runner up at last year’s NAS Volunteer of the Year Awards. The Forest School was a finalist in the 2016 Laing Buisson Social Care Awards (Autism Category). Michael is currently producing a book about Autism and Forest School.

Nature Wellbeing & Imagination: bringing stories to life in the woods

by Liz Raba

In this hands on and experiential workshop, using her Storytelling Yurt, Liz Raba will explore how we can nurture storytelling and creativity to help to support the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families. You’ll discover and explore the therapeutic benefits storytelling outside in the woods and how this can support and enhance the communication skills and confidence of a group. You’ll also learn how to create an inspiring environment for storytelling and how to facilitate the permission and freedom for individuals to be creative, whilst still holding and supporting the group.

Liz is a theatre director, Drama therapist and creative learning consultant who specializes in working with children, young people and families in healthcare and education with a passion for working in woodland settings.  Liz’s company “A Thoughtful Place To Be” works to highlight the connections between creativity, imagination and well-being and 2016 saw the launch of the Storytelling Yurt, which has been commissioned to travel to schools and independent education settings, festivals and gatherings.

Imaginary Forests – creative approaches to outdoor learning by Lucy Power

This unique and creative workshop aims to inspire and empower participants to use creative tools, such as story-telling, music, puppets and magical tea parties, as part of their forest school/outdoor learning practice. It’s based around helping to connect children with the natural world, and sparking a sense of wonder, curiosity and delight in their local outdoor environment.

Lucy Power is a Forest School leader and Artistic Director of Rowanbank Environmental Arts and Education. Lucy has over 12 years’ experience working in environmental education, and is a workshop facilitator and performer. She has a BSc in Ecological Science, and is also a trapeze artist, who likes to hang upside down from beautiful trees as often as she can!

Experimenting with Yoga and Bodywork in Nature by Suzy Strudwick

This will be a practical workshop for folk to understand a little of the theory behind what links yoga with wellbeing, experience the positive impact of yoga and bodywork for themselves in the outdoors and to get some ideas about how and when yoga and bodywork could be used in a Forest School session.  It will teach you some very basic poses that can be used with children, young people and adults outside. It will include a creative discussion about how and when yoga and bodywork could be adapted into different Forest School settings and with different groups.

Suzy has have been a full-time Forest School leader for 9 years, working in and around Croydon, Surrey and Sussex, in a wide variety of settings, with all ages from pre-school, through to young people and adults.  She has lots of experience of working with children and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities and is a qualified youth worker. Suzy has have been practicing yoga for a lot longer than leading a Forest School, and has been adding touches of yoga, meditation and bodywork into some of her Forest sessions for a long time.

Making and playing the “Viking Game” by Tim Evans

To learn how to play and then make the Viking game and then work in groups to make a set of pieces and play the game with them.

A workshop to learn how to play and make the Viking Game. Work in teams to make the pieces for the game using coppiced wood and saws. Each group then plays the game with the pieces they have made. It’s great for developing team spirit, self-esteem and it’s also fun! For children, this activity includes measuring, cutting safely, working as a team, learning rules, taking turns, developing accuracy and throwing skills.

No Biography included.

From Glue Sticks to Relationships – Building Creative Attachments by Sarah Hennessey

This workshop will look at the ways in which young people with attachment issues can have difficulties within the structure and expectations of a traditional school setting.  It will look at how certain activities can be tailored to meet the social and emotional needs these young people may present. It will explore how using an outdoor setting and participating in imaginative and creative arts can offer an alternative way of working with young people who are struggling to manage their own emotions and to develop the empathy needed for collaborative working.  It will discuss how outdoor therapeutic arts can provide a powerful set of tools for renegotiating identity, rebuilding relationships and reengaging with schools. Participants will create their own artwork to begin to understand how some of the activities can be therapeutically beneficial and will leave with techniques and activities that can support the young person with emotional, social and behavioural needs.

Sarah has worked as a teacher, with children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties including mental health issues. She has a Masters in Art Psychotherapy and trained and worked as a freelance Forest School Leader. She has worked with children with attachments difficulties, Autism, ADHD and many other presentations.

Simple Products from Coppice Hazel by the Woodland Skills Centre, Denbigh

A practical workshop to show how hazel can be grown as a sustainable woodland material and using simple tools can be used to create a variety of simple projects.

The workshop will be led by one of the staff from Woodland Skills Centre all of whom are level 3 Forest School Leaders, level 3 Social Forestry practitioners and experienced craft tutors. http://woodlandskillscentre.uk/

Emergency Poet by Deborah Alma (offers drop-ins and a writing for well-being workshop)

A gentle introduction into writing for the self for those with little or no experience of writing. Through a series of enjoyable exercises, conversations, and through looking at your own life experiences, Deborah will help you to transform some of your material into imaginative writing. The workshop will focus on the positive, help to achieve self-acceptance, calmness and be properly in the moment. There will be no pressure to share your writing. Just bring yourself.

Deborah Alma is a published poet, taught writing poetry at Worcester University and is an experienced workshop facilitator. She was recently Poet in Residence at a NHS Conference for physiotherapists.

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