Question 18 - Session plans

What do my session plans need to show?

Please submit records of two consecutive FS sessions from the last 6 months for each of your Level 3 practitioners.  

We want you to submit what you actually use day-to-day for session planning. If your current format does not include all of our required elements you can hand write notes, to cover the additional information, onto your usual format. The record you submit might be the usual session plan you routinely use or another document that evidences your planning process. The record you submit needs to evidence that all of the bullet pointed elements below are covered. You can add an ‘interpretation slip’ (a sticker, note or post-it) to your usual format which adds extra information if you wish.  

• Date/Session number (e.g. 7 of 34) ☐

• Special and additional needs ☐

• Current needs of the group (e.g. struggle with transition, fascinated by pullies, lacking respect for woodland space) ☐

• Outline of possible plan/activities in response to needs (to include use of natural materials & free play) ☐

• Session start/end time ☐

• Names of supporting adults ☐

• Number of children ☐

• Age of children ☐

• Special kit required ☐

• Associated reflection (what went well, what didn’t, considerations for next time) ☐

You need to supply this information for each of your Level 3 Practitioners. Session plans submitted need to be from long term groups (refer to question 21 for a definition of long term).

Reflections will often be handwritten on your working document so a clear photograph or scan of your session plans is acceptable evidence (vertical aerial please). 

Relative to other forms of nature play we expect there to be higher numbers of adults present in forest school. We expect ratios to be appropriate to:

• the needs/experience of the group 

• the site

• enable higher risk activities

• allow for child-led play 

• enable supporting adults to undertake individual planning/observation/reflection

Applications will be judged on a case by case basis, taking into account the site, activities and client group.  We will however use a maximum ratio beyond which we will not consider recognising Forest School practice. If we see evidence that suggests that a provider has more than 8 children to every supporting adult the FSA will not recognise your practice.  This 1:8 ratio would only be recognised as appropriate for groups during times where no higher risk activities are taking place and where no clients had special requirements. We expect additional supporting adults to be added (in addition to the 1:8 ratio) to facilitate safe use of fire, tools and climbing, and where clients have additional emotional/behavioural needs. We also expect Recognised Providers to use the +1 approach whereby an extra adult, in addition to your usual ratios, is present to maintain safe ratios in the event of an adult supporter needing to leave the group. In some cases, if we deem ratios to be unsafe or inappropriate, we will be unable to accept the provider as FSA Recognised.