Child plays on swing in Happy Out Forest School

Pre-Booking Information

Please read the following before booking your child onto a Forest School programme or Woodland Camp.

Risk

Happy Out Forest School recognises that risky play is necessary to the development of healthy individuals; children who learn to assess risk for themselves are less likely to put themselves in danger and more likely to avoid accidents in the long term.

We offer participants opportunities to engage in age-appropriate and supported risk, through activities such as:

  • rope swing and low ropes
  • tree climbing
  • tool use
  • fire-lighting

All of our activities are risk-assessed and appropriately managed. However, please be aware that falls, cuts and grazes can happen, even under the strictest supervision.

Site Boundaries

Please remember that there are no walls or doors at Happy Out Forest School. On their first day in the woods, the children’s attention is drawn to red ribbons tied to trees which encircle us and which mark the boundary of the site. They are told that, for their own safety, they must stay inside this boundary at all times: “red means STOP”.

At every session and during games and activities children are repeatedly reminded to look out for red ribbons and to never go past a ribbon under any circumstances (unless led by a Forest School leader).

The safety of all participating children depends on every child obeying this basic and most fundamental rule. Any child that strays outside our marked boundary, despite clear instruction to the contrary, may be asked to leave the Forest School programme or camp.

Disclosure of Health and/or Behaviourial Issues

To help ensure your child’s safety while with us, please inform us of any health/behaviourial issues they may currently be experiencing (whether diagnosed or yet to be diagnosed). You can do this on the consent form or orally, on the morning of registration. However if the issue is more serious and your child has special needs, we ask that you contact us directly before booking so that we can arrange for one of our volunteers to assist us if required.

This information is crucial in order for us to be able to give your child the care and attention they need while attending Happy Out Forest School events. All information given is treated with sensitivity and strict confidentiality.

Covid-19

If your child displays any symptoms associated with Covid-19 the evening before, or the morning of, a Happy Out Forest school day, please keep them at home and notify us.

The most common symptoms are fever/chills, cough (usually dry), shortness of breath, lost/changed sense of smell/taste, fatigue, aches and pains. For a full list of symptoms go to https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/symptoms.html

We will be asking you before the start of each day’s activities to confirm that your child is well and not displaying any symptoms. Please allow time for this each day.

It is important that parents/guardians understand that  “it is not possible to guarantee that infection can be prevented in any setting either in a childcare centre, school or in a home”.  (HSE - Infection Prevention and Control, Guidance for Settings Providing Child Care During the Covid-19 Pandemic).

Consent Forms

At registration on the first day, you must sign our consent form, which asks for the following information:

  1. Confirmation that you have read and understood the terms outlined above and that you agree to let your child participate in Happy Out Forest School activities.
  2. Your permission for a Forest School Leader, trained in Remote First Aid, to give medical assistance to your child if necessary.
  3. Whether you consent for your child to be photographed/videoed and for these images to be used by Happy Out Forest School for promotional purposes (Yes/No).
  4. Whether your child has any health / behavioural issues.
  5. Details of two Emergency Contacts.
  6. Parents will be asked daily to orally confirm that their child is well and not dispalying any signs of Covid-19.