Herefordshire focused Forest Schools information and resources.

Minutes for HFSA 13/3/17 Chaired by Sam Goddard

Attended by: Janet Howie, Jane Clarke, Kym Pride, Charlie McNair Sue Jones, Jo Dainty, Charis Melvin, Alison Jackson, Sarah Blenkinsop, Jane Denny, Jo McLellan.

Apologies from Jo smith, Anney Thornton Wood


Sam welcomed everyone to the Group and explained the Meeting Agenda

Previous minutes were referred to and Sam reminded all to look on Website for information.

Membership was discussed, converting to Herefordshire Forest School Association has expanded the Group membership. The membership fee will be on the website for all to read. Members can have the options of belonging to the Herefordshire FSA only, with a £10 annual membership fee (payable to HFSA) or they can also join the Forest School Association proper for a further fee of £35 (payable to FSA direct). Voting rights concerning HFSA are wavered if members choose not to join FSA. However, they do receive a 50% discount on Skills Workshops that normally cost £10. It is agreed that Skills Workshops costing more than £10 would not offer the discount to ensure enough money is raised to fund them.

In addition to this a Group membership fee was discussed to support schools and other associations in joining HFSA. To enable this decision a vote was cast by eligible members. It was carried and agreed that for Group membership a single member would pay the full annual £10 and further members from the Group £7.50 each. All would have the benefit of 50% discount for Skills workshops.

Alison Jackson, who distributes the membership cards, confirmed that all have joining and expiry date information.

Sarah Blenkinsop has suggested that there may be businesses willing to give a discount to members of HFSA, on production of their card, she will explore this further.

It was also suggested that Herefordshire Woodland Trust may be approached to join as members to enable mutual support of outdoor sustainability and learning

A discussion around how best we could use the HFSA website. Katrina Preston was keen that we could all share events on the site and this was agreed. Katrina was keen to promote the forthcoming WildPlay events. Events advertised will only be from those who have full membership.

As Ali Jackson, Treasurer, was not present at that time to inform us of the current financial statement in detail, Sam could say that £850.00 was the figure within the account. A further talk around how best to fundraise resulted in Jane Clarke and Kym Pride taking the lead on a specific approach. Jane mentioned support from a local firm that had supported other ventures. Jo McLellan added that this would be an ideal way to gain some sponsorship for the proposed Conference Day in October. Jane and Kym will update at the next committee gathering in May. Jane Denny described how schools have been able to gather support for “Stop the Drop” through some sponsorship, once permissions had been gained through Herefordshire Council and she would be happy to support Jane and Kym.

Charlie McNair and Katrina were keen to promote Forest School “on the road.” Many of those present recognised that, of late, schools have had less funding opportunities to commission Forest School in. Janet felt that sadly not everyone associated the benefits of Forest School to better outcomes in emotional wellbeing and mindfulness, which are very much at the forefront of Ofsted requirements. It was undecide how we could support schools without incurring too much cost to ourselves and time commitment was a prohibitor.

Once again it was thought that not all schools who have Forest School trained staff were responding to emails sent by FSA. Jane Denny explained that often the emails may only go to admin with the school. As Jane is able to send emails to all schools she will endeavour to acquire a more updated list of Forest School Practitioners in  the county, along with their level qualification level.

Forest School Outdoor Learning was discussed within the Group and Sam reminded everyone to look at the FSA website which clearly defines the ethos and practice. It was agreed that most schools are not able to support children accessing Forest School for the whole year but preferred shared access for different classes each term time. Sam discussed the 6 Key Principles. It was felt that the Conference Day would be an ideal opportunity to expand  on this theme and extrapolate key issues and barriers. Sam commented on the difference between Forest School and Outdoor Learning. Charlie described some Forest School approaches as Full Fat or Semi Skimmed and it was agreed that this analogy explained the different approaches well.

At this point, Sarah suggested that as a Group we should now start to think about supporting future students and mentoring opportunities. Both Karina and Charlie were interested in the idea of advertising this on HFSA website. Charlie felt this was an ideaL way of networking and gaining further skills such as mentoring. Jo McLellan will write a paragraph for the website to support this further. Safeguarding was discussed to ensure that all had DBS or could access sight of DBS, if signed up to “DBS update.”

Jo McLellan went through the forthcoming dates of Skills Workshops to ensure that w a list of events, hosts and venues.She will send out the Templates to all hosts to enable the posters to be on the website, well – advertised in advance of events.

Sarah Blenkinsop reminded all that the St Helens Garden Festival at Much Marcle on the 10th June very much wanted to have Forest School Activities. She asked all those able to give their time through the FSA to contact St Helens and organise. Katrina informed us that WildPlay were already booked to be there.

At the next Skills Workhop, hosted by Sarah Blenkinsop, it was agreed that being the Easter Holidays, children would be able to attend the event but Sarah could not be responsible for their care, that would be the responsibility of adult bringing them.


Names were taken to support WildPlay at Queens Wood for the Gruffalo Day on Saturday 8th April. The HFSA are providing opportunities for families to toast marshmallows and make popcorn on a campfire. So far, those able to support are:

Jo McLellan, Ali Jackson and Charis Melvin confirmed their attendance whilst Kym Pride and Jane Clarke would confirm and Charlie would already be there and able to support if necessary. It was agreed that they would run sessions for 20 minutes with a 10-minute gap between sessions. Practitioners would support the event from 11.00am – 2.00pm.and ensure the Forest School Banner was displayed to promote the Group.

Concluded with next Committee Meeting at Queenswood on Monday 8th May at 5pm.

Sam thanked all for their attendance.





April 4th, 2017

Posted In: Meeting minutes

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  • Fay Pilliner
    April 4, 2017