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At Otterhead Forest School tools are made accessible and help to engage kinesthetic learners. We use a variety of tools that improve hand eye coordination and motor skills. Learning to use tools contributes towards building trusting relationships between staff and students. The results of tool use are tangible and provide people with a feeling of pride. We endeavor to empower students with confidence to use tools correctly and as a result participate in green woodwork projects, woodland maintenance and personal carpentry projects.

Training is provided on all potentially dangerous tools such as knives, billhooks, saws and loppers. Certificates are awarded after individual tool training and advanced levels of training can be undertaken to complement student development. Using tools is a fantastic way of building confidence and developing practical skills.

Using hand tools such as knives provides a kinesthetic focus for students, which can enable more in depth conversations with staff and peers. Using certain large tools such as axes and saws can release potentially negative excess energy into positive outcomes and increase trust and respect between staff and students.

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