Call us on: 07876 794098
Home Education

Monthly Home Education Group at Park in the Past

Our aim is for children to be “seeking knowledge and sharing inspiration.” We provide quality outdoor education workshops and Forest School sessions for local home educating families and we host our own monthly group.

We’ve created a space where home educating families can socialise whilst their kids have the opportunity to learn at their own pace, in their own way, with both high quality tutoring and child-led activities available. All this is set against the backdrop of mixed woodland, wetland and open meadows of Park In The Past, with 120 acres of wild space to explore. The park also provides us with a fantastic natural resource to base our sessions in, providing learners with direct, hands-on experience. You can explore this country park after your session with discounted entry to the site (Mar – Oct), so why not stay for a picnic, or visit the cafe to check out their cakes.

Our current programme of sessions usually take place on the last Wednesday of the month. Sessions are two and half hours long, with a separate group in the morning and afternoon.

If you represent a group of home educators and want to discuss us setting up a standalone session or ongoing programme for you, please get in touch.

“Lea and James are really down to earth and inspiring people, great with the children and very knowledgeable. We always enjoy the sessions and can’t wait to be back after half term.” Leah Pugh – Parent

“Took Nora for the first time last week. She loved it. Being outdoors, playing, exploring and learning; is there anything better!? This will be a regular group for us now.” – Fay Parry, Parent

Meet the Leaders: James & Lea Kendall

James is a qualified Forest School Leader & Bushcraft Instructor. “I’m excited to be able to offer the Pathfinders sessions to home-educated children, as it gives me an opportunity to put into practise so much of what I’ve learned and pass on my enthusiasm and knowledge about nature and outdoor living to kids minds who will soak it all up. I want to create a learning group that is first and foremost fun and engaging, but also adaptable to the children’s mixed ability and needs.”

Lea is a qualified Counsellor, Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting practitioner and experienced outdoor activity leader. She is a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. Lea is an active forager, passionate about how we can use common plants for both food and medicine. She enjoys making her own tinctures and medicinal remedies for treating common ailments.

james and lea kendall - outdoor education tutors

Activities

Activities range from practical bushcraft skills to ecology to arts & crafts, as well as child-led play for little ones. Following feedback from Home Ed families this format appeals both to parents who want a child-led session and those who want a structured, alternative curriculum for their kids from a tutor in an outdoor setting. We have created a three tier structure to our sessions which allows for activities to be geared toward the age of the learners:

Children aged under 2 years have use of our Forest School area with the campfire, mud kitchen, scavenger & mini-beast hunts and all the free-play they can muster with their imagination. Little ones are welcome to join in with activities of the 2-7 year olds, watch what’s going on, or simply snooze away in one of our tree hammocks.

Children aged 2 – 7 years enjoy a mixture of structured outdoor learning and child-led Forest School activities & play, based around the campfire circle and surrounding woods. Structured learning sessions follow a different theme every month. There will also be time for this group to mix with the older children and learn together during a whole group activity. When it comes to child-led play a range of activity stations are set up so that children can try their hands at everything from the ever popular mud kitchen (for little ones) to den building. Our Forest School Leaders will support the play and learning that takes place.

Children aged 8 – 16 years attend structured workshops which follow a different theme each month. Teaching is led by experienced Bushcraft and/or Forest School Leaders with the aim of sparking their thirst for knowledge and bringing subjects to life with engaging activities. We take children through a programme of outdoor education which includes everything from using ancient fire-lighting techniques to tree identification to pond ecology. The class size is limited so that kids get a favourable child to adult ratio. We also promote a mentoring and buddying system within the class so that older children are supporting younger learners during the whole group activity. Our aim is to give high quality tutoring for your children, making the most of the rich natural resources around us.

“Super knowledgeable, down to earth and all round awesome! I always learn so much from these guys, when attending their home ed forest school sessions with the kids. Spend a day outside, reconnect with nature, re-energise… you won’t be disappointed!” – Shelly Shambrook, Parent

HOW WE MENTOR YOUR CHILDREN

We aim to offer an exciting and engaging learning environment which draws on our wide range of skills, qualifications and experience in outdoor education. We’ve been inspired by the teachings of Joseph Cornell and Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature and we want to bring the outdoors alive in ways that will in turn inspire the children to want to continue their own learning.

Session subjects can include; bushcraft skills, ecology, environmental education, tree identification, traditional crafts, greenwood working, living history, circus skills, mindfulness, philosophy for kids, all with an emphasis on both the social and emotional aspects of learning in groups.

Children will get the most benefit from attending consecutive sessions over the year as each lesson builds on the knowledge gained previously and we ignite the kids enthusiasm by following up with the subjects that they seem the most interested in.

At the end of the session we all gather around the campfire. It’s an opportunity for children to share what they have discovered with the rest of the group.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Forest School approach to learning, here’s a brief definition…

“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.” Forest School Association

FAQs

FAQ message to go here

Bookings are managed by Steph Culkin, who is a local home educating mum. She does not work for Woodland Classroom but has agreed to co-ordinate the bookings on our behalf. Rather than post Steph’s personal phone number on this page, we would ask that new enquiries come to us and we shall pass them onto Steph from there. That way we can field any initial questions you may have before deciding making a booking. Places are limited on each session so book early to avoid missing out.

You can contact us via email right here. Or ring James on 07876 794 098.

The price per family varies between £12.50 and £20 per session. The cost is variable because the amount of families which book on per session changes from month to month and we charge a fixed price to host the session. If you have any questions, do drop us a line.

If your child is under 12 then an accompanying adult is required to attend the session with them. Children aged 12 or over can be dropped off for the session and picked up at the end, or alternatively parents/guardians can accompany them on the workshops and join in with the activities. This works great for anyone wanting to take the session’s themes further in their own Home Ed time. We do ask though that if your child requires additional support in their learning that you speak with us in advance before we agree you can leave them in our care.

Tea, coffee, biscuits and child-friendly drinks will be available at the Forest School campfire.

There will be a Woodland Classroom Leader with each group at all times and parents are welcome to assist with activities if they want to.

The venue has a big car park. The on-site cafe provides us with proper toilets. There are portaloos closer to the forest school site also.

Park In The Past comprises 120 acres of outstanding natural beauty offering woodlands and wetlands, a magnificent 35-acre lake and the gorgeous River Alyn winding through it, as well as wonderful walks and spacious fields. Our activity area is tucked away in the woods where you will discover our woodland workshop, giving you shelter, under our big parachute, from the weather and a seat by the fire.

You can visit the Park in the Past website here: www.parkinthepast.org.uk

UPCOMING SESSION DATES & TIME

Sessions are typically held on the last Wednesday of the month. Due to popularity we have separate morning and afternoon sessions. Choose from 10am – 12.30pm or 1.30pm – 4pm.

Super knowledgeable, down to earth and all round awesome! I always learn so much from these guys, whether it’s attending their home-ed forest school sessions with the kids, or one of their adult events which are fab! I can highly recommend their mindfulness and bushcraft days ? Spend a day outside, reconnect with nature, re-energise… you won’t be disappointed!

Shelly Shambrook

mindfulness and bushcraft
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