We’ve created some Q&As to give you a better idea of what our Home Education groups are all about
If we haven’t answered your question please email forestschool
@outdoorsgroup.co.uk. There is a wonderful, supportive home educating community in Devon. We wanted to give this community an opportunity to get together each week and inspire their children to learn outdoors, following the Forest School ethos. Our groups aren’t heavily structured or formulaic but they do offer children the chance to get outside, use their imaginations and learn about working together in groups. We hope the groups offer variety, inspiration and friendship – plus fun and fresh air – for families home educating their children in Devon.
Children can attend from the September after their 5th birthday, depending on which day you are interested in. (The upper age limit is dependent on the child and whether they would enjoy and gain skills from spending time with younger children).
We have a family Home education group at our Escot and Totnes site, for under 8 ( older siblings welcome)
You can drop off children at all our groups for children aged 5 years and over (from the September after their 5th birthday) in Escot, Exmouth, Okehampton and Totnes
Children need to be accompanied at the family sessions on Monday at Escot and Tuesdays at Exmouth
We run a number of different home education groups which aim to provide children with an environment in which they are free to be themselves, meet new friends and socialise whilst engaging in fun forest school activities. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, and strive to provide all children with the right to engage in a session that promotes success and happiness through exploration and play. If your child struggles socially, emotionally or behaviourally and requires a level of supervision beyond typical, then please include all relevant information so we can do all we can to allocate them a place within the most suitable group.
They will need a packed lunch and a bottle of water or juice.
The right clothing is very important at Forest School, especially in winter. They will need:
3 x pairs of warm socks, plus spares
Wellies and a spare pair of shoes
Warm trousers, plus spare pair
3 to 4 layers of t-shirts, jumpers and waterproof coat, plus spares
Hat, gloves and scarf
In summer, a good set of outdoor clothes will suffice, with some spares in case things get muddy!
It’s difficult to answer this in a simple way because it will depend on the site they are attending, who the leader is and what the group is like.
Our aim is to provide a fun, safe and innovative learning experience, with special attention paid to building relationships and confidence in the children.
It may be that a particular group will spend a term or two working solidly on team-building, laying the foundations to move on to more intricate projects.
Another group might have a long term project, for example building a tree house.
We also encourage leadership by having a student forest school leader who chooses activities and is responsible for organising the group for part of the session.
Home Education Group: Monday 9am-15:30pm
Woodlanders: Monday 9am-15:30pm
Family Group: Tuesday 9:30am-12pm
Home Education Group: Thursday 9am-15:30pm & Fridays 9am-15:30pm
Woodlanders: Thursday 9am-15:30pm
Family Group: Monday 12:30pm-15:00pm
Home Education Group: Monday 9am-15:30pm & Wednesday 9am-15:30pm
Okehampton: Home Education Group: Wednesday 9am-15:30pm
Sessions are run by fully trained and experienced Forest School Practitioners who have gained accredited certification in Forest School Leadership. They are also qualified first aiders and have many years experience working with children. All our staff are DBS checked. You can find out more about our staff on our Meet the team page. Look out for Rich at Exmouth, Debbie at Okehampton, Chris and Rich at Escot, Sarah, Claire and Ellen at Totnes
Our attendee capacity for all groups is currently 20 children.
Yes, all attendees must attend a taster session ahead of enrolling for the full term, this is to ensure we match you to the most suited group to ensure success for you and your child, Please contact [email protected] to enquire.
This group is for children (age 6-13) who have some lagging gaps in social and emotional skills and would benefit from calm time in the woods in a small group to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
We know that children develop their play skills at different rates, some may be autistic or have other learning differences (sometimes called Neuro-diversity) requiring a slightly more tailored approach to forest school. Being part of a large established group may present anxieties that make our standard group unsuitable. The Woodlanders runs alongside our Home Education group on a Monday in Exmouth and Thursdays at Escot but with the presence of our Inclusion Lead to help make our provision accessible to those children who may need some extra support.
Will be detailed on your enrolment confirmation emails
Family sessions at Exmouth and Escot are £10 per family, per session – payment to be made in full for a half term at the time of booking.
Sessions for children attending by themselves cost £15 for half day provision and £30 for full day provision. We offer a 10% sibling discount. The sibling discount will be automatically applied at checkout or if you’d prefer to access the double day discount for one child, please use the promotional code BLOCKBOOKING.
All sessions are paid for via a monthly Variable Debit Debit using GoCardless, However ee are set up to receive payment via a number of childcare voucher schemes (Edenred, Kiddivouchers, Care-4, Sodexo, Computershare, Busybees, MyBenefitsBundle, Apple Childcare, Reward Gateway and Enjoy Benefits), as well as the new government scheme – Tax Free Childcare.
We are also pleased to say that parents claiming Working Tax Credits may be eligible to claim back some of the costs under the childcare element of Working Tax Credit. To do so, you will need to use the Ofsted registration number RP555172 and the category ‘registered club’. Costs needs to be paid directly as normal when invoiced but, if eligible, you will be reimbursed a set proportion via Tax Credits. You can find more here.
Please note that you can only use these schemes to pay for sessions your child attends without you.
Once you have booked your child into your desired session we will carry their place from term-to-term unless you cancel or change their space through our booking portal, Bookeo. You can either pay an entire term up front or use Go Cardless function to pay each month for your sessions.
We are set up to receive payment via a number of childcare voucher schemes, as well as the new government scheme – Tax Free Childcare. https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ Please note that you can only use these these schemes to pay for sessions your child attends without you.
You can find out more about the Tax Free Childcare scheme and see if you are eligible here.
If you wish to pay using childcare vouchers, please let us know and we’ll invoice you on a monthly basis so you can arrange payments as required.
We are registered with the following schemes:
- Apple Childcare: CA00011411 (The Outdoors Group)
- Bravo Benefits: EY555175 (Ofsted number)
- Busy Bees: EY555175 (Ofsted number)
- Care-4: 40037798
- Childcare Grant Payment (CCG): CCG3788935
- Computershare: 0025737359
- Edenred: P21044203
- Enjoy Benefits: EX2 9QL (Parents just need this postcode)
- Kiddivouchers: EX2 9QQ (Parents just need this postcode)
- My Benefits Bundle: 05860
- Reward Gateway: 18624395403 (RG Childcare ID)
- Sodexo: 873404 & postcode EX2 9QQ
- Tax-Free Childcare: Please select Okehampton Forest School from the list.
We have some parent stories coming soon but also asked the children what they think:
‘You can make things like bows and arrows, dens and everyone gets along very well.’
‘We learn lots about wildlife and how the squirrels like to eat my lunchbox.’
‘Chris teaches us lessons about learning in a team and he’s funny.’