Little Acorns Forest Schools Ltd was founded by me, Dave Churchward, in late 2014. I moved back from Germany that Summer and was filled with a passion to start Forest School Stay and Play sessions for pre-school children at Moira Furnace. At the time, the sessions were run from the back of my car with bookings being written down from verbal conversations or through a Facebook message. 7 years later, we have grown as a result of this and Stay and Play for pre-school children has always been at the very heart of what we do at Little Acorns Forest Schools Ltd. We always pride ourselves on the individual needs of the child when delivering our sessions. The sessions are always child-led, with a theme to work from, but not rigidly followed.
Take up from local parents and carers enabled me to extend the provision and since then we are very proud of how Little Acorns has grown to provide Forest School programmes and sessions to a range of local schools and educational establishments.
We are now able to run from two separate sites – one at Hicks Lodge and one at Burton on Trent, where we deliver the following programmes;
1. A thriving Home Education weekly group for 5 to 12 year olds, where learners are on site taking part in organised Forest School long term programmes.
2. Forest Babies and Stay and Play sessions regularly run during the school term at both sites.
3. Long term Forest School programmes to several schools across the area, providing advice and woodland management to a more diverse range of schools locally and further afield.
4. Birthday parties for all ages – from babies with play based sessions, to older parties (the oldest being a 40th Birthday party so far!) which have included tool use and fire making activities.
5. Corporate and school development training days on site – specialising in leadership and outdoor skills.
6. Little Acorns Forest Schools Ltd now provides Forest School Training internationally, from Level 1 to Level 3 Leader, with qualified and competent trainers with a wealth of first hand experience and knowledge.
7. First Aid training and delivery on a range of skills – Outdoor First Aid / Paediatric First Aid, Forestry Worker First Aid, Emergency and full First Aid at Work course
With the rising requirement for Forest School leaders in educational establishments across the country and the increasing knowledge about climate change and how it will affect us, the need for getting outdoors and understanding it, has never been so important. This is why we hope to grow to deliver more Forest School sessions and programmes to the wider community.