Alresford Primary School

Headteacher: Sarah Dukelow

Ford Lane, Colchester, Essex CO7 8AU

01206 822731

Alresford Primary School Forest School

Welcome to our Forest School page! 

This page will be the main source of information for Forest School at Alresford Primary School. Throughout the year, we will post photos, videos and documents related to Forest School. Please see below for more information!

Each Forest School session is planned and delivered by Mr. Dale Milgate (Level 3 Forest School leader.) The entire Forest School programme is overseen by Mr. Dale Milgate (Forest School leader) and Mrs. Loretta Baker (Deputy Head/Year 6 teacher.)

Please check back regularly for updates to Forest School at Alresford Primary School!

Mr. Dale Milgate - Level 3 Forest School leader.

Forest School leader: Mr. Dale Milgate

School email:

In person: 'In person' meetings can be arranged by speaking to the school office.

Deputy Head: Mrs. Loretta Baker

School email: 

In personIn person' meetings can be arranged by speaking to the school office. Please speak to the Forest School leader first.

Forest School 2021/2022

Following our first successful year of offering Forest School sessions, it is our pleasure to announce that Forest School will be returning for 2021/2022! The Forest School schedule and session dates can be found on this web page. Information regarding all Forest School sessions scheduled to occur during 2021/2022 will be sent out via email and communicated in our school newsletter which is sent out via email every Friday afternoon. Any Forest School letters which are sent out (via email) can also be found on this web page.

Term Class
Autumn term (September 2021 - December 2021) Year 2
Autumn term (September 2021 - December 2021) Year 3 (Both class groups)
Spring term (January 2022 - March 2022) Year 4
Spring term (January 2022 - March 2022) Year 5
Summer term (April 2022 - July 2022) Reception
Summer term (April 2022 - July 2022) Year 1

All of theses sessions will be delivered by Mr. Milgate, a qualified level 3 Forest School leader.

The Forest School class schedule is subject to short term changes and cancellations. Please check back to this page for regular updates. Any changes to the Forest School schedule will be emailed and posted on this page

The Forest School programme is free to all children at Alresford Primary School and will take place during afternoons on a 2-week alternate week basis. Please check with your child's class teacher to find out what day your child's sessions will take place.

Introduction Forest School videos hosted by the Forest School leader (Mr. Milgate) can be found further down this web page. These videos are designed for both children and adults.

Mr. Milgate - Forest School Leader.

We would like to thank the following people, companies and organisations for their support and contributions to the Forest School programme at Alresford Primary School:

Alresford Primary School PTA, Alresford Primary School Governors, Alresford Primary School administration and premises staff, Essex Wildlife Trust, Cockaynes Wood Trust, Mark Brumpton Tree Services, The Parents of the children at Alresford Primary School and all the Forest School Adult Helpers.

Forest School website last updated: Monday 19th July 2021.

Forest School information, polices and documents

Information for children and parents

To ensure a smooth start to the Forest School, I have written the following documents which may be helpful to all adults and children and offer an insight as to what can be expected from the Forest School programme. 

These documents have been written to try and answer as many questions as possible about Forest School at Alresford Primary School. If your question is not answered in any of the documents listed below, please contact the Forest School leader - Mr. Milgate via the contact information at the top of this page.

To find information about a specific element of Forest School, please press CTRL + F and type in the subject you are looking for.

 Forest School donations 2021-2022 [V1].pdfDownload
 Forest School FAQ 2021-2022 [V2].pdfDownload
 Forest School Parent information 2021-2022 [V2].pdfDownload
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Information for adult helpers

Any adult who wishes to participate in our Forest School programme must read the Forest School adult handbook document before your first session. This document covers safety aspects of Forest School as well as outlining various policies and procedures which are vital within the Forest School session and within the school premises.

The document titled 'Forest School - volunteering at Forest School 2021-2022' outlines what can be expected during a Forest School session whilst also detailing the various different roles and responsibilities an adult helper may have during a session. Information regarding an adult helper's first session can also be found here.

The location and timing of every Forest School session are subject to change and cancellation due to weather and adult availability.

 Forest School Adult handbook 2021-2022 [V2].pdfDownload
 Forest School Covid19 2021-2022 [V1].pdfDownload
 Forest School Volunteering at Forest School 2021-2022 [V1].pdfDownload
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Adult helpers DBS check information

All adult helpers are required to complete a volunteering DBS safeguarding check before beginning their Forest School sessions. This procedure is handled by our finance officer - Mrs Kerry Beere.

During this time we are asking adult helpers to contribute towards the cost of their DBS check. This cost is £18 and can be paid via school money. The DBS check can take up to 6 weeks to complete and return to us. In line with our safeguarding policy, all adult helpers must wait until we have received a notification stating their DBS check has cleared before they can begin their Forest School sessions. We will notify you when this happens.

Volunteering DBS checks are valid for up to 3 years.

Please see the documents listed below for a full list of acceptable identification documents.  More information about completing a compulsory DBS check can be found in documents below.

 Acceptable DBS identification documents.pdfDownload
 DBS consent form.pdfDownload
 DBS requirements - Mrs. Kerry Beere.pdfDownload
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Latest Forest School documentation update: Monday 14th June - 22.53pm

Forest School 2021/2022 session schedule

Please see below for the full 2021/2022 Forest School session schedule. This schedule is subject to short term changes and cancellations due to weather, absence etc. Please ensure you keep up to date with your emails to ensure your child is prepared for their Forest School sessions.

Your child's class will be split into 2 separate groups to ensure the limit on child participants in a Forest School session is not exceeded. Your child's teacher is responsible for deciding the Forest School groups. The schedule below details when each group will receive their sessions. Please check with your child's teacher for details about which group your child is in.

Please note, due to the Year 3 cohort splitting into two separate class groups from September 2021 onwards, children in this year group will receive their Forest School sessions will those children in the same class group as them. There will be no mixing across the cohort. 

To clarify, children in the BEES class will recieve their Forest School sessions with the other children in the BEES class. Children in the BUTTERFLY class will recieve their Forest School sessions with the children in the BUTTERFLY class.

A full breakdown of the 2021/2022 schedule including the total number of session on offer to each year group can be found at the end of the document below. The document also outlines a number of maintenance days scheduled to occur throughout the school year. For safety reasons, there will be no Forest School sessions on the scheduled maintenance days.

Latest update: Sunday 18th July 2021.

School letters and communications

Please see the file list below to keep up to date on all letters, emails and other forms of communication regarding Forest School. Updates to Forest School may also be posted in the school newsletter.

The dates shown on the letters are the dates of when they were uploaded to this website - not when they were sent originally sent out. 

Latest update: Friday 25th June 2021.

Year 2 (2021) Forest School letter - Autumn 2021.

Year 3 (2021) Forest School letter - Autumn 2021

Forest School 2021/2022 class schedule.

Latest update: Monday 19th July 2021.

Forest School introduction videos

Please see the Forest School introduction videos below. These videos have been designed to offer an insight to the Forest School programme to both children and adults. These videos are unlisted on YouTube and can only be accessed by visiting the Forest School web page.

Please note, Forest School sessions now are scheduled for occur on Monday afternoons for children in Reception and Wednesday afternoons for children in Year 1. Forest School sessions are offered on an alternate week basis. Please see the 'Summer term 2021 schedule' document located above for information about when each session is scheduled to occur.

Our Forest School areas

The photos below show the locations used for Forest School activities.

Our onsite Forest School area (photos 1 - 13) is managed and monitored by the Forest School Leader and school caretaker. This area is constantly changing to offer the children more opportunities for holistic growth and development. Our onsite Forest School area features sheltered areas, 2 designated log circles, a designated location for tool and fire use, places for reflection, areas for digging and planting, areas for climbing, a garden area and mature trees.

Our offsite area (photos 14 - 21) is located within Cockaynes Wood Nature Reserve and is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and Cockaynes Wood Trust. The offsite area features plenty of mature trees, a designated log circle, opportunities for den building, a designated location for tool and fire use, reflection spaces and a vast array of plants and insects to be discovered. This area is not for public use and may only be used the permission from the managing trusts. This area is not owned by Alresford Primary School.

During the duration of the sessions, the children will be able to fully experience the effects of the outdoor environment and experience the changes associated with every season through first hand experiences.

Our Forest School on site area development

Our onsite Forest School area is continuously growing and developing. It is our aim to create a safe and inviting environment for Forest School sessions and activities and also create an outdoor space for learning which can is accessible to the wider school community. Take a look at the photos of our Forest School area below and join us on our journey as we continually update and develop our Forest School area! Check back soon for more development photos!

If you would like to contribute to our on site Forest School area development, please see the document entitled 'donations' above in the 'information for children and parents' section.

What have we have found...

At Forest School, we find lots of really interesting insects and objects! Take a look at the photos below to see what we have found at Forest School!

What have we been up to?

Take a look at the photos below to see what we have been up to at Forest School. Photos from individual Forest School sessions can be found below!

Forest School photos

At Forest School, we adhere to the same photography policy which is currently present at Alresford Primary School. Any child who does not have full parental consent to have their photograph taken and/or shared will not have any photos posted on this web page. If you would like to add/remove your child on/from this page, please speak to the school office or class teacher. Photos will remain on this page for the duration of the term and will be removed at the end of the final session. All photos are taken and handled by the Forest School leader - Mr. Milgate.

Please do not re-share photos from this page.

(If you receive a message stating 'This image could not be loaded', please try refreshing your browser and try again.)

Due to unforeseen technical issues, there will be no photos from Reception and Year 1's Forest School sessions for the foreseeable future. I apologise for this issue and any inconvenience caused by this.

- Mr Milgate - Forest School leader.