When and where
Wednesdays, 10am-11.30am during term-time
Location: De Salis Garden, Wells Cathedral School, Wells.
Our recommended age-range is walking babies/toddlers to 4 year olds however younger (non walking) siblings are welcome free of charge.
What to expect
As a Forest School, we understand the importance of play and as such we encourage children to engage with whatever sparks their interest - build a den, make mud pies, climb a tree, get stuck in with a craft activity or explore some new animal tracks in the garden... We actively encourage ‘risky-play’ - whether it is having a go on our scramble net, climbing a tree, using hand tools or cooking over a campfire - these experiences not only help children to manage risk appropriately but also build self-esteem and confidence. The ever-changing surroundings that the natural world provides us with means that there is always something new for children to explore and during this process they inevitably become more connected with nature.
And it’s not just about the little ones! Spending time outdoors with friendly familiar faces around a campfire is a wonderful opportunity for you, as a parent and a human being(!) to unwind and watch your child happily at play.
In line with the forest school ethos, we follow the interests of the children and plan future activities based on our observations. As such, Forest School is a long-term process and we ask participants to commit to half a term in advance.
If you are interested in learning more about forest school please click here.
Young children thrive on a daily rhythm and as such our sessions have a flow to them as follows:
Story and / or exploration the season we are in
Activity time - natural crafts, fire, tools, scavenger hunts or free play on our scramble net, swing, in our mud kitchen and the natural environment itself!
Song time with nature inspired songs and rhymes
Tea and coffee will be provided for grown-ups and hot chocolate will be available for little ones (at your discretion). We encourage parents to bring snacks to share but please avoid bringing in snacks containing nuts, in-line with the school’s No-Nut policy.
Sessions are on wednesdays from 10am-11.30am during term-time (NB. term-dates are for Wells Cathedral School) as follows:
11th, 18th & 25th September
2nd, 9th and 16th Oct
**Half-term (2 weeks)**
6th, 13th, 20th & 27th Nov
4th & 11th Dec
Should there be sufficient interest, additional sessions may run as a drop-in, in-line with the local authority term-dates.
In-line with the requirements of a ‘forest school’, we ask participants to commit to half a term (roughly 6 sessions) in advance. This allows us to observe and get to know your child over time and introduce activities in-line with their interests and development.
Sessions work out at £8 per session per family (1 parent/carer with up to 3 children aged 0-5) or £48 per 6-week, half-term block. Childminders are welcome to bring up to 3 children as a ‘family’.
Your first session can be paid on the day as a trial session. Any future sessions will be charged in advance for the rest of the half-term block.
About our Forest School Leader
Claire is a qualified Forest School Leader (Level 3) with over 7 years of experience, including running Forest School sessions for Wells Cathedral School. Claire also has two children of her own under 6 years old. She is DBS checked, paediatric first aid trained, food safety trained and holds public liability insurance. Certificates available on request.
Toilets and baby-changing facilities are available in the school sports centre, very close to De Salis Garden where the sessions are held.
There is very limited parking available within the school grounds but the school is a very short walk from the city centre.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
— Arthur Wainwright
We run sessions all year round, except in dangerous weather (see cancellation policy). As such we will give you advice on what to wear and bring to keep you and your children comfortable. In wet weather we will have a shelter to keep us dry and in cold weather we plan activities to warm the cockles - keeping active and enjoying the warmth of a campfire!
Except for taster sessions, bookings are made in advance for the term and since spaces are limited we regret that we cannot offer refunds if you and your child are unable to attend any sessions paid for in advance.
If situations out of our control ('acts of god') force us to cancel a session, for example high winds, electrical storms or icy ground we will offer you a credit towards the following half-term. If we need to cancel a session for any other reason you will be offered a refund or a credit. In all cases where we need to cancel we will let you know as soon as possible.