Mini Acorns Forest School

Launching in the Autumn Term 2021, our weekly Parent & Toddler Forest School will offer children aged 0-5 years the opportunity to have fun outdoors and develop a connection with the natural world.

Mini Acorns Forest School will take place in our own woodland. Activities include nature-inspired crafts, den building, rope swings, mud kitchen and campfires. Sessions will be facilitated by our Level 3 qualified Forest School Leaders and Nursery Teachers, however children must be accompanied by an adult or carer.

Children from our Nursery will also be present. So if you’re considering joining Copthorne this is a great opportunity for your little one to meet some of their future friends.

Mini Acorns Forest School will follow the Forest School Ethos, which you can learn more about here.

Dates for the Autumn Term are as follows:

Tuesday 21 September

Tuesday 28 September

Tuesday 5 October

Tuesday 12 October

Tuesday 2 November

Tuesday 9 November

Tuesday 16 November

Tuesday 12 November

Tuesday 30 November

Sessions run from 9:30-11:00.

Cost: £6 per session. Non-walking siblings are welcome and are free.

Booking and payment must be arranged in advance. Places are limited.

To book a place please click here.

What to expect:

  • We meet and wait for everyone to arrive in the car park area before all walking down to the camp/site together
  • We go out in all weathers, except high winds and lightning storms
  • Once at camp we’ll have a quick welcome and a safety briefing. We’ll say hello to the children from our Nursery who will also take part in the session. We’ll explain about rules for staying safe in the woodland and around the fire circle if we decide to have a small fire
  • We then introduce or suggest an activity, such as leaf printing, bug hunts, den building, painting, sensory games, or natural crafts. The children can get involved or just have free play on the water wall, music wall, mud kitchen or in the wider woodland area. There’s plenty of space to run about, dig, collect stuff, play on rope swings, climb trees, play games and explore. We encourage the children to follow and build on their own interests within our setting
  • If appropriate, we may introduce some simple woodland games. We also have basic tools available which the Leaders can demonstrate and help the children learn to use if they wish, in an age-appropriate manner
  • We will break for a drink and snack at some point in the session We will provide basic food, but you’re encouraged to bring your own too. On some occasions we may cook on the campfire
  • During the session we will reflect with you on what your child likes doing and might want to do next time, so we can keep the sessions as child led as possible
  • At the end of the session, we’ll regroup and say goodbye before making our way back to the car park together

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below which covers detailed information on food and drink, toilets, hygiene, first aid and Covid-19 risk management. If you have an unanswered question, please do get in touch.

FAQs

Clothing

There is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing! We want you to have a positive experience in the woods and this requires the correct clothing, so please ensure your child comes dressed in the following regardless of the weather!

We recommend wearing the following items of clothing, depending on the weather and temperature:

  • Compulsory:
    • Long sleeved T-Shirt
    • Fleece sweatshirt
    • Loose fitting jogging bottoms
    • Waterproof coat
    • Waterproof trousers
    • Warm socks
    • Sturdy footwear, waterproof boots are ideal!
    • Water bottle
  • On cold & wet days just add…
    • Waterproof warm coat
    • Base layer (thermal tops and bottoms)
    • Layers – add another long sleeved top or jumper
    • Another pair of warm socks
    • Warm hat
    • Tube scarf
    • Warm gloves/mittens
  • On warms days just add…
    • Sun hat
    • Applied sun lotion
    • Applied insect repellent
    • Ensure long trousers and long sleeved tops are loose to prevent insect bites or ticks

Food and drink

Drinking water and basis snacks such as rice cakes and plain biscuits will be available, but please feel free to bring your own too.

We are a nut-free environment, so please ensure your own snacks do not contain any nuts.

Please provide your own cups or water bottles.

Toilets and handwashing

Please try to use the toilets at home before you arrive.

Children are welcome to “wild wee” if needed or you can bring your own potty.

We have access to a toilet in a school building in case of emergencies.

We have a dry and sheltered area for nappy changing.

We have handwashing stations in the woods.

Safety and first aid

Parents/accompanying adults are responsible for the safety of their own child(ren).

Our facilitators are all first aid (in the outdoors) qualified and will constantly monitor and risk assess the session.

We always carry a first aid kit with us.

COVID-19 risk management

Our site has plenty of space to allow families to be at a safe distance from others. You are welcome to wear a face covering but these are not mandatory.

While we understand that very young children cannot socially distance, please be aware of other families and that there are some things that the children in a group will be sharing such, as the mud kitchen.

We will provide antibacterial wipes for parents to use on any tools or equipment etc before and after use.

Cancellation

In the event of extremely bad weather we will contact you in advance of the session (with as much notice as possible) and offer you the opportunity to rebook an alternative session.

If you are unable to attend due to illness or COVID-19 isolation, please let us know. Unfortunately, we will not be able to refund you for your missed sessions.

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Welcome to Copthorne Prep School!

We have a couple of events happening in October:

Whole School Open Day – Saturday 2nd October (9am-1pm)

Year 7 Experience Day – Saturday 9th October (9am-3.30pm)

Mini Acorns Forest School Sessions – September to November (9:30am-11:00am)

Please note that all events are by appointment only.