Forest School Training – Snowy Sentiments

Two weeks ago, Coach Darren LLP sent Coach Darren to Sheffield, UK to attend Archimedes Forest School Education’s, Forest School Practitioner Training Open Award Level 3, it is a recognise practitioner certification to practice and lead forest school session in UK. In this, Forest School Training Series, we catch a glimpse of the activities and experience, that Coach Darren had, during the 5 days training.

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Coach Darren – Snowy Sentiments

On the 2nd day of the course, myself and 4 of my classmates who stayed over in the log cabin, woke up to get ready for class at 9.00am. I settled into class, and started reading on the portfolio that was given for all of us, to prepare ourselves to be great forest school practitioner.

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The morning begins with a reflection for everyone, our instructor told us to go around the woods at the back of the log cabin, pick up stuff we like from the ground, and build ourselves something to represent our reflection for Day 1. It can be our feelings, our thoughts, what we learn, what we do, or what this journey means to me… Anything. As long as it comes from ourselves. Many of us shared about the things we learnt, some of us decide to share about our feelings (sentimental here), some of us share about our vision and journey. I shared about the feeling of journeying there from SG, feeling lonely, but embraced within the forest school community there, and feeling home. And how that will energise my journey back to Asia to start the Forest School Movement.

 


Then we went on to learn about tools and the forest school methodology, experience in a weather, that kind of look like its going to snow again. The wind was blowing a little hard, the chills begin to kick in. So we move ourselves into a hut, and continue our learning and sharing. Everyone chip in with our perspective and experience with children and the woods. It felt so right.

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Shaky camera caused by the wind (And yes my shivering arm)

We made our way back to the classroom to warm ourselves up and do lunch, before we head out once more to learn how to tie knots that hold under tension and releases easily, as well as a pulley kind of knot that holds well for pitching up tents in between 2 trees. We find ourselves tying knots and pitching tents in the snow gradually, this time the snow came down a lot, we even had a small bout of snow “ball” fight. Hahaha. It was crazy cool and absolutely amazing for me at the moment.
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We capped the day off with our one last tool, the billhook. We learnt to split wood using that tool and a hard wood to knock on the top of the blade. We had quite a good bit of laugh and fun there, trying out the billhook, splitting our wood. My group laugh a little too much, cos we ended up the last of the lot to end the day.

 

 

The class ended, and we kind of kick back and relax (those few of us who stayed over in the cabin), while the rest braved the weather to return home. The weather can really sap lots of energy out of everyone. A good cup of tea can really warm up the spirit and mind in those weather. After dinner (Tea – in Manchester lingo), we kind of hangout a little while together, getting to know each other, haha. But there are some tinge of silence and slow warming up there from everyone. But I still feel home =) It was warm (Though snowing)

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Coming up …… DAY 3

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