“As with many effective learning environments it is the philosophy and ethos (the hidden and invisible curriculum) underpinning the activities of Forest School that creates the real benefits. Having no association with their previous failures, preconceived ideas of their own and their peer’s abilities are soon found to be unreliable”
Fran Cook - Ex Primary Teacher, Holway Park Community Primary School, Taunton
Here at Otterhead Forest School we offer a flexible, organic learning environment that can be used to engage and work with a wide range of people.
Our unique teaching techniques and engaging outdoor activities vary depending on the student’s age and needs.
All of our activities are tailored to suit the needs of the individual, below are some examples of how we engage and work with people.
We have seperated the type of work that we do at Forest School into four main focus areas.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health
Otterhead Forest School has a solid reputation within Somerset for its successful work with children and young people who need additional Social, Emotional and Mental Health support. Our work in this area involves support to local schools and their young people by offering long term programmes that focus on the emotional and social and mental health barriers that prevent young people from successfully accessing mainstream education.
In addition to offering our services to children and young people at the Otterhead site, we believe that all children should benefit from engaging in a Forest School programme. Therefore, we facilitate other educational providers to deliver Forest School programmes within their school grounds. At Otterhead we offer level 1,2 and 3 Forest School training as well as advice and support in developing school sites in preparation to deliver Forest School activities.
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Not in Education, Employment or Training
Otterhead Forest School recognise that for some, the transition between mandatory education to the world of work or further eduction is a challenge. For this reason, we offer programmes that focus on the social and emotional barriers that prevent these transitions from being successful. For individuals who are, or are at risk of being NEET (not in education, employment or training) the idea of entering into the next stage of their life can be daunting and sometimes demotivating.
Summer schemes, family days and woodland experiences
During school holidays and weekends Otterhead Forest School offers a variety of experiences that facilitate children, adults and families to engage in the woodland environment. These experiences include birthday parties, holiday activities, family woodland days and team building days. Otterhead Forest School enables its visitors to reengage with this environment by leading woodland activities that allow participants to take acceptable risks, gain practical skills and to build confidence in their own ability to enjoy this stimulating environment.