The Word from the Woods 
August 2016
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Dear <<First Name>>, welcome to

Welcome to a very warm August edition of The Word from the Woods. With the FSA AGM less than three months away, anyone wishing to stand as a Director will need to fill out the FSA Director Application Form (54 KB). 

Applications must be completed in full and returned electronically to by 23rd September 2016. A signed hard copy of the final sheet must be returned to the FSA Offices before 24th October 2016.
Gareth Davies Acting CEO


Annual General Meeting

The next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Forest School Association will be held on Saturday 12th November 2016, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at 12 Camley Street, Natural Park, London N1C 4PW. There will be no national conference this year. Only FSA members have a vote at the AGM. If you are not a full member and would like a say re-join here.

For details of the AGM and to confirm attendance / submit questions see this page

Forest Workers Zone 2016

Dedicated Zone for Woodland Workers

APF2016 will have a dedicated area for forestry and woodland workers, with an exciting program of workshops, and experts on hand to answer questions relevant to those working on the wood face of the industry.
The UK's largest forestry, woodland & arboriculture exhibition will highlight demonstrations on chainsaw repairs, sharpening hand tools with Sean Helman, high-lead systems, ergonomic felling techniques, and adding value to products.

Mike Abbot, the grandfather of green wood work, will be coming along to talk about his experiences and the evolution of the green wood industry, and Stephen Cull (The Blade-master) will be talking about his life as a mobile sawyer.

Children more Motivated to Learn when Outside

England's Largest Outdoor Project Findings Released

Children from 125 schools across the South West on England are happier, healthier and more motivated to learn thanks to a new project commissioned by Natural England that has turned the outdoors into a classroom and helped schools transform ways of teaching.

The findings have been released today by the Natural Connections Demonstration project, a four-year initiative to help school children – particularly those from disadvantaged areas – experience the benefits of the natural environment by empowering teachers to use the outdoors to support everyday learning.

The project, which is funded by Natural England, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Historic England and delivered by Plymouth University, is the largest project of its kind in England and has already helped more than 40,000 primary and secondary school pupils get out of their classrooms and into the outdoors – whether that’s a maths lesson in a local park or drama out on the school field.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

“We learn to love nature as children, and our commitment to nature later in life – respecting it, protecting it, restoring it, or simply enjoying it – is built on that childhood foundation. That’s why it’s so important we give all children the chance to experience the natural world."
For the first time, the Natural Connections project provides strong evidence that learning outdoors has multiple benefits for school children. 92 per cent of teachers surveyed said that pupils were more engaged with learning when outdoors and 85 per cent saw a positive impact on their behaviour.

A full copy of the Natural Connections project report can be downloaded from Natural England’s Access to Evidence publications catalogue while an 11-minute film has been produced to accompany the publication of the project report.

Viking Kids Promotional Offer

Scandinavian Clothing for All-weather Fun

Viking Kids are now offering FSA Members a discount on their full range of outdoor clothing. Viking Kids offer high quality outdoor clothing for children and adults developed with active families in mind.

To access a 5% discount on all Viking Kids products enter FSA0617 at the checkout or for a 10% discount off orders over £500 using FSA0718.

Forager's Buddy

Free App for Android helps Foragers 

Forager's Buddy is a free app for android smart phones and tablets, designed to help users GPS map-mark all the remarkable places where they have found various kinds of wild food resources.

You can use this application as a reference in various outdoor activities like finding wild herbs, mushroom gathering, hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

Download the Free version from Google Play

Forest School on Twitter

Tweets to @FSAForestSchool



Local FSA Events

Events from Around the Local Group Communities

Norfolk FSA Group
  • Sat 1st Oct. Autumn skill share and AGM at Wheatfen Nature Reserve - 10 a.m. 4 p.m.** Booking now open. Further details to be confirmed soon!
  • Wed 9th & Thurs 10th Nov. ITC First aid for Forest School - 9 p.m. - 6 p.m. both days** Places are filling up quickly! 
  • Would you be interested in a 'Food Hygiene in the Outdoors' course? There has been mention of the possibility of running a food hygiene in the outdoors course in Norfolk. Is this something you might be interested in?
Full details at FSA Norfolk events page or email

View more events at

Local FSA News

Latest News from Around the Local Group Forums

The FSA Hampshire Group have been congratulating Plymouth University on their fantastic work in stimulating outdoor learning in SW primary schools.

The University's report and video on Student Outcomes & Natural Schooling from the Natural Connections Project can be seen at

Outdoor Book Review

Flourishing in the Early Years : Contexts, Practices and Futures

If young children are to flourish and become happy, confident and motivated learners, they need to develop in an environment that gives them the opportunities and freedom to play and learn, along with the support of parents and practitioners who are flourishing themselves.

This invaluable text, containing editorial from FSA Member Bob Pilbeam, looks at the conditions that enable all those engaged in the early years sector to flourish, covering themes such as the outdoor environment, the curriculum, parent partnership, equality and ethical practice. Divided into three sections, each part covers:

  • Concepts: A consideration of how flourishing is framed by political, historical and policy frameworks;
  • Practices: Exploring the issues that early years practitioners are faced with when engaging with parents and multi-agent professionals within their setting;
  • Futures: Examining some of the long-term issues that may need to be revisited on a regular basis to enable continual and flourishing development to occur.

With key points and reflective tasks, this book will be valuable reading to all students and practitioners working in the early childhood education and care sector who want to ensure that the children in their care are given the best possible start in life.

Flourishing in the Early Years:
Contexts, Practices and Futures

Edited By: Zenna Kingdon, Jan Gourd & Michael Gasper

Published by Routledge in Nov 2016

Softback | Hardback

ISBN 10 - 1138841137
ISBN 13 - 9781138841130

The 5 Minute Forest School Plan

Thanks to the Forest School Portfolio for this idea

In mainstream education there is a well known alternative to traditional lesson plan templates called the 5 Minute Lesson Plan. It’s designed to cut down on the paperwork and bureaucracy of lesson planning and has spawned a whole series of variations. I’ve created a variation for use when planning forest school sessions. Click on the image for a full size JPG file or download the PDF below.

The 5 Minute Forest School Lesson Plan (PDF 239 Kb)

Many thanks to The Forest School Portfolio for the idea. Follow them on Twitter @ForestSchool

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