Happy Out Forest School
- Science, History, Geography
- Curriculum Strands:
- Story (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Natural environments (Geography), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science), Materials (Science), Energy and forces (Science)
- Counties catered for:
- Clare, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary
- Classes catered for:
- All Classes
Happy Out Forest School was established by Veronica McGuire and Gráinne Vaughan in 2017. Since then we have worked together to offer children a very special outdoor experience which is carefully managed with diligent attention to detail and following the 6 Principles of Forest School.
The Heritage in Schools scheme supports Forest School in primary schools by granting a 5th free visit when 4 visits are booked (a series of visits are important in order to meet the criteria for Forest School).
Having 2 experienced Forest School leaders keeping an eye and managing the activities allows the teachers to relax and offers the children extra care and attention. There can be freedom and choice in how the children learn while in the outdoors. This is central to the ethos of Forest School.
We fashion the day's timetable from week to week using our observations of individuals to include activities that meet the needs of the children. We set up an “outdoor classroom” with seating, a compost toilet, a hand-washing area and an overhead canopy for shelter on rainy days. We bring along equipment for games and crafts as well as a first aid kit and extra clothing for cold/wet days.
Forest School is an unrivalled learning experience for children as they gain their own meaningful insights through making and doing in a rich outdoor envirnoment. Furthermore, having 2 specialists on site allows children to opt out of group activities when they need to just be in nature. These quiet moments are often the life changing moments in nature when children make deep connections and find their place in the natural world.
We have a wonderful woodland location at Lee's Road Amenity Park in Ennis which is an ideal environment for Forest School to take place. If you can't get to us there, we recommend using a local woodland, park or even a field with some trees within reach of your school. Coming out into a natural environment, so much more biodiverse than the school grounds, is invaluable to the kind of learning that can take place. The children can make a real connection with Ireland's natural heritage by being immersed in it, gaining their own meaningful inights through making and doing in this rich playground. Activities offered include: scavenger hunt, bug hunt, nature connection games and activities, community building games, nature art and crafts, bushcraft using simple tools.
Activities that could take place in the school grounds would be adapted to suit the outdoor space available.
Activities offered include: scavenger hunt, bug hunt, nature connection games and activities, community building games, nature art and crafts, bushcraft using simple tools."
"First Class pupils had a most wonderful experience when they attended Forest School in November. Veronica and Gráinne nurtured a great love and respect for nature and wildlife in the children through projects, art and craft activities and games. Every session was full of smiles, laughter and fun. We feel really fortunate to have had this fabulous opportunity." - Barefield NS, Clare
"Fantastic day at Forest School again today. The children loved every aspect of the session and learnt how to saw wood, finish their hazel wood coins, engage in den building, create animal profiles, play capture the flag and engage in lots of discussion about the environment, the natural habitat of the surroundings, conservation and protection of the area etc." - Holy Family Senior School, Clare
"We have had an extremely positive Forest school experience with Happy Out. Sessions have been very well planned and flow seemlessly from one activity to the next covering areas from SESE, STEM, Oral language, Story, Drama and PE. We could not recommend Veronica and Gráinne highly enough." - Tierneevin NS, Galway
- Provides in-person visits
- Caters for special needs
- Provides practical/hands-on activities
- Provides field trips