Schools & Pre-Schools
We love working with schools, as it is a great way to reach all children and give positive outdoor experiences to those children we might otherwise never meet.
We can bring school groups into the woods at our location at John O’Sullivan Park, Lee's Road in Ennis. This wonderful, wild woodland, sensitively managed by Clare County Council, offers endless scope for imaginative play. Activities carried out with the children include nature connection games, scavenger hunts, den building, bug hunts, clay modelling, nature art, stories and song - all with a hint a magic.
A shared woodland adventure is of great benefit to a class group. The children's natural curiosity comes alive. Children are relaxed and engaged, allowing all sorts of learning to take place. It allows new skills to come to the fore, so that children see their classmates in a new and, often, surprising light.
By offering a programme of woodland visits across the seasons, Happy Out Forest School can help pre-schools and schools to meet the wish-list of the growing number of parents who are seeking some outdoor education for their child.
Your school may be able to avail of funding to cover the costs of a forest school experience. Creative Clusters and Creative Schools are examples of funded projects that have enabled schools to come to us in the past but there may well be other funding available.
We recommend that a class group has 8-10 visits to the same woodland location, in line with the Irish Forest School Association guidelines. Returning to the woods for regular sessions allows the group to "settle into" the woodland experience, fostering a relationship between them and the natural world around them. This is when the children start noticing what is going on around them and when the learning really begins to happen. A lot of processing takes place between visits, with the new information being more fully absorbed, ready to be built on in subsequent visits.
Over time, the children's senses become better attuned to the woodland environment, they become more physically agile and more confident in their own abilities. Through engaging in supported risky play, children learn to assess risk for themselves helping them to grow into more self-reliant and self-confident individuals.
All activities are age-appropriate, risk assessed and fully insured. Veronica and Gráinne have an up-to-date qualification in Remote First Aid.