High Peak

Information for the High Peak

ūüćÉForest School Networking Event¬†Sat 9th 2017¬†December¬†12.00pm – 4.00 pm

Hello, I am a Forest School leader who lives and works in the Hope Valley. I am currently involved in providing regular Forest School sessions with children who attend Peak Time Kids Club, Hathersage C of E School and Edale CE School. I know that there are many of us throughout the Hope Valley who provide similar outdoor adventures for our local children and I decided to organise a fantastic opportunity for us all to meet up and swap experiences, share our ideas + skills and take some well-deserved time out to Forest School ourselves!

I would like to invite you to come and join me, and other local Forest School folk, at Ridgewayside Woods for an afternoon of sharing woodland adventures around the campfire.

Location:  Ridgewayside wood is just outside Hathersage (Grid Reference SK 22546 82605). Follow the public footpath that leads up through the fields from the gate (near the yellow grit bin) at the junction between Coggers Lane and Birly Lane. There is some space for roadside parking available at the top of Coggers Lane, just passed the track leading to Thorpe farm but car sharing would be a good idea. For those of you who fancy stretching your legs and enjoying the forty minute walk up from Hathersage village, follow the footpath that leads through the Hathersage allotments, over the brook and up through the Brookfield Manor estate. https://goo.gl/maps/sKyuSyYkXRL2

Please bring food to cook on the fire, drinks, extra water and any resources needed if you wish to share specific skills and ideas. 

Feel free to forward this invite to others that you think may be interested in attending and don’t hesitate to¬†email me at ruthpatriciadixon@gmail.com if you‚Äôve any questions. See you there!¬†

Past meetings/events

Monday 10th October 2016 4-6pm Gamesley Primary School

Wendy Smith ‚Äď Hadfield Nursery, Mel Godwin, Emma Kid, Anne Billing and Marie Williamson ‚Äď Gamesley Primary School, Janie Thompson and Annabel Attenborough ‚Äď Stonebroom Primary School, Eleanor Duckworth ‚Äď Heaton School, Jo Hanney ‚Äď Longenden Environmental Centre, Sarah Keogh ‚Äď DCC Environmental Studies Service


Thank you to Gamesley Primary school for hosting a cluster meeting packed full of ideas. The theme was books that can frame a Forest School session or programme but we talked about lots of things including Norway Maple v’s Sycamore ID.

Room on the Broom: Make footprints, broomsticks, dragons, potions

Stanley‚Äôs Stick (set locally) or Stick Man or Not a Stick:Find a special stick, decorate or carve it. ¬†Use for storytelling, talky stick, magic wand, journey stick etc. Log Dogs ‚Äď Wendy mentioned Sage her Forest School puppet has a fully trained log dog that even does tricks!

Aliens Love Underpants:Decorate an underpant shape with natural materials, make a space ship, make twig aliens.

Other favourites mentioned were:Mud, Bog Babies, King of Tiny Things, Leaf Man.

 (There is a link to many of these books in the resource section)

hula-hoop-denPlus reading spaces such as the ones shown on the left that can be created using a hula hoop.

We also talked about making felt wands (see felt bead notes from Derbyshire Forest School day for more info using the page menu) or pebble hand warmers by creating a felt pouch for specific pebbles that can be heated in a pan of water.

Friday 22nd April 2016, Skills Session 4-6pm, St Mary’s Catholic Primary New Mills

A great turn out from Forest School Practitioners preparing for their practical assessment. Tool work, knots, fire lighting and management were all covered in a very short space of time with lots of advice encouragement from all attendees.

Thanks to Sarah Humpleby who has recently started running Forest School Programmes at Fairfield Nursery and taught us all how to tie a Siberian Evenk Hitch. Click here to view the video clip. The Evenk Hitch is one of Ray Mears favorites for a tarp set up  and this link gives some more information. It can be tied  easily whilst wearing gloves Рvery handy for winter FS programmes.

Monday 7th March 2016, Banks Wood Park Hadfield, 4-6pm. Focus on session beginnWendy and Onionings and endings.

Attendees:¬†Attendees: Wendy Smith – Hadfield Nursery, Chis Ellison – Duke of Norfolk Primary, Shirley Jackson – Combs Infant, Sarah Keogh ‚Äď DCC Env. Studies Service, Patricia and Anne – St Mary’s, Jo Hanney, Gamesley Primary School, Sue -DACES.

Thanks to Wendy and Onion for hosting a lovely wintery evening meet in the snow. Wendy and Onion showed us how they make the most of an area of woodlaKeys Picnd in a well loved park. We heard woodpeckers close by and enjoyed a stunning sunset. Onion often helps to begin sessions with the nursery children that visit (Sage stays at school) and might ask the children a question or give them a task. Children also have to find the key that matches one of the many holes in the entrance tree to open the Forest. Many people liked to end sessions by encouraging children to identify areas they had achieved in eg put your right foot in if you…or stand somewhere between two trees or put an imaginary object in the imaginary box being passed around (the heavier the better you think something went) AND also encouraged the children to think about what others had done well eg point at who has helped you most today/worked hardest/smiled the most : )

Monday 9th November 2015 , New Mills Primary, 4.30 – 5.30. Focus on FS ideas for small areas

Host:  Liz Hambleton РNew Mills Primary

Attendees: Wendy Smith – Hadfield Nursery, Chis Ellison – Duke of Norfolk Primary, Shirley Jackson – Combs Infant, Ross Burnage – Bakewell and Matlock MAT, Marie Williamson – Gamesley Primary, Liz Edwards – Groundwork Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford Ltd (MSSTT), Carole Reed – New Mills Nursery, Sarah Keogh ‚Äď DCC Env. Studies Service

A great time was had exploring the lovely Forest School area (mostly in the dark!) at New Mills Primary. The area is a fairly small area in the corner of the school field but Liz and colleagues have worked hard to make it as interesting as possible. With a specially carved door on entering the woods and lots of nooks and crannies and features to explore. Liz was struggling with a marked out path within the site somehow restricting its use so the group put their heads together and decided perhaps there was no need for a path! (Update from Liz ‚Äď We Had a great morning with the children removing the path and making balancing bars with the branches plus rope handrails!).

There was lots of conversation, resources/info discussed included:

Great books to use for FS

  • Leaf Man
  • Super Worm
  • Bog Babies
  • The Disgusting Sandwich
  • Stanley Stick

When the weather is not ideal for staying outside for long periods you can bring in some natural materials and use these in the classroom eg find some different leafs to measure the area of using multilink, create characters, use pine cones for counting etc

OPAL is the Open Air Laboritories Project that aims to increase particpation in citizen science. They produce some great downloadable survey packs with activities suitable for most ages http://www.opalexplorenature.org/

ISpot can help with identification http://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland

Tristram Gooley‚Äôs Book ‚ÄėNatural Navigation‚Äô was mentioned as a possible FS theme.

Alp kit are now retailing slacklining kits

Liz H mentioned she had been using some of the Forest and Woodland resources available on Twinkl http://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-t-11130-eyfs-woodland-and-forests-discovery-sack

Liz E mentioned she had been on a great fungi course recently with http://www.getfunghi.co.uk/

8.09.2015 Local Cluster Meeting hosted by Chris Ellison and Duke of Norfolk Primary School – Slacklining Theme

A lovely evening exploring the site, hearing about Chris’s experiences establishing and managing Forest School Programmes on this site and others. And thank you to David Eavesden for helping us to consider the benefits of introducing Slacklining and a quick tutorial in rigging a slackline. Thank you to all that attended and contributed to an hour packed with ideas! (more info on setting up a slackline here¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N69AzjnhZ4E)


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