After school club
We started this term welcoming new and returning children from both Horfield C of E school and Henleaze infant and junior school, but with a slight difference, due to Covid-19. We have split the site and rota the two areas used so that both schools get a chance to play in the different areas, while adhering to social distancing rules. The children have adapted well to this new routine and play happily in the school bubbles, while still being able to interact with the other schools from a safe distance. Bryony and Annie collect and support Horfield c of e children with Katherine, Vicki and Sarah collect and support Henleaze school children.
At forest school we view our walk to site as important as the session. We look at the change of seasons and what we can spot in private gardens. We have learned the green cross code and re-visit road safety daily. We are also well known by the local community with many elderly members enjoying a distanced wave or chat with the children.
During each session we have the same favourite activities to explore including the mud kitchen, tree swings, obstacle courses, digging, tree climbing and den building but we also have a planned themed activity each session. At the end of each session we chat about what the children have enjoyed and if there is anything they would like to try. We also observe the children's interests and speak with their teachers in school so we can plan activities and resources that build upon the children's learning. We have a new planning format which we complete with the children. Do let us know if your child has any ideas they would like to explore further at forest school.
As the weather has turned and autumn is in the air, our planned crafts and activities have been based around this season. Some of the activities we have done:
· made acorn cap candles, using the little acorn caps as the base to hold the wax. The wax was carefully melted over the fire, and then gently poured into the acorn caps.
· Created lots of conker based crafts, from conker soap to ‘Gods eye’. The children had great fun bashing up the conkers and then using the mashed conkers as soap! Conkers have a substance called saponins, which is a natural soap and washes off easily in water.
The ‘Gods eye’ are created by weaving different coloured wool around crossed sticks, and comes traditionally from Mexico, symbolising the 4 elements.
· Learnt about hedgehogs and bonfire night and how we need to look out for them during this time of year, as they often nest in unlit bonfires.
· The children have also had great fun raking up the fallen leaves and creating hedgehog houses from the piles of leaves.
- Made bird feeders from apples and sunflower seeds and old popcorn, to help our feathered friends through the changing season.
We also enjoy showing children how to work around fire safely and have a healthy respect for fire, so with this in mind we have created the role of ‘fire assistant’ with the children where at least two children help one member of staff with the fire. This involves collecting small sticks and preparing the fire with supervision. This has been very successful and enjoyed by all.
The staff at the Hideaway are all experienced Forest school or play leaders and childcare practitioners who LOVE to work and have fun outdoors in all seasons. Each newsletter we will be shining the 'spotlight' on one of the members of our team so we can share a little bit more about us:
Vicki is the founder of The Hideaway Forest School and many of you will have chatted with Vicki on the end of the phone or email. Vicki leads the Young Explorer forest school sessions through the day and Henleaze Infant school after school club. The children at the hideaway asc know Vicki as she helps with the walk from Henleaze infant school and often pops her head in to see what everyone is up to or covers sessions when needed.
Our after school club leader is Bryony who is supported by Annie, Katherine and Sarah. You can find out a bit more about our leaders on our webpage.
Absence and Clubs
Please let us know on 07895 407542 if your child won’t be attending After School Club. Where possible please leave day to day messages on this phone number, rather than by emailing Vicki who may not pick up your message in time.
There is a 48-hour exclusion period for children (and staff) after the LAST episode of sickness or diarrhea. We have your children and our staff’s best interests at heart by enforcing these exclusion periods. By bringing your poorly child in you are putting other children (and our staff) at risk. Thank you for your support.
Please also remember that if anyone in your household is awaiting results of a Covid test or have symptoms please do not attend until test results have returned or exclusion period has passed.
You Said, We Did!
Each newsletter we will share with you how we have responded to feedback from either an adult or a child. Your feedback is very important to us, and we welcome your comments.
You Said: “Can you please ensure my child stay dry”
We Did: Children are now not able to access activities unless clothing has been checked. We also hold a large collection of trousers, jumpers, socks, underwear, wellies and waterproofs. If you do borrow some items please ensure that you return the items on your next visit.
THANK YOU for your continued support.
If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram. We post lots of useful information, such as when we open for bookings, any last-minute places that are available in Holiday Club, as well as lots of photos of the children playing.
We would also appreciate any reviews or tags, thank you!
Spread the word!
Please can you share your experiences about The Hideaway after school club with friends and families. You can attend 1, 2 or 3 days a week and we now have the flexibility for ad hoc days of childcare. Do get in touch at the firstname.lastname@example.org or book via our webpage https://www.hideawayforest.com/hideawayafterschoolclub
In the winter we enjoy wrapping up warm and enjoying playing outside in the dark. The children enjoy playing in the dark with torches and lanterns around the site and enjoy exploring the site finding hidden reflectors and reflective material. Our hats with built in torches have been popular with the children, we still have some left available at collection for £10. Alternatively please provide your child with a head torch.
Below is a suggested kit list for when temperatures start to drop, we ask the children to add to their school uniform rather than removing it completely.
Recommended winter kit list- (Which can be left on site in a named bag, if you wish)
Please note we are now taking a cart to school to load our bags into to aid with the walk to site. The children love to pull and push the cart and do not get tired carrying heavy bags.
Top Base layer - vest
First top layer - school t-shirt or thin jumper
Second top layer - school jumper
Third top layer - fleece jacket
Bottom layer - fleece, tights, leggings or other warm tracksuit bottoms
Neck scarf/ snood (preferably not long scarf)
Hat and gloves (plenty of spares to be packed in backpack)
Two pairs of socks Two pairs to wear (on the bottom, one thin school cotton sock or tights and the top, a thick wool or fluffy bed sock)
Extra jumpers to be packed in backpack for really cold days
Snow boots or sturdy warm outdoor boot
Not for profit club
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for trusting us with the care of your child, we have so much fun playing and learning together outdoors. We would also like to say thank you for supporting a local small independent business. 2020 has been difficult for most businesses and as a result our after school club is making the steps to move towards becoming a registered 'not for profit' organisation. This means that all monies raised pay for staffing, rent and resources and any profit is invested back into the after school club and it's community. This also allows us to apply for grants and funding to help develop our provision.
We are a small setting with a high ratio of staff to children so every child attending counts. We thank you for your continued support during these un-certain times and we look forward to sharing more adventures with you next term.
What we plan to do next term
As there are many leaves now covering the ground, we will be using them to create some interesting crafts, from leaf mobiles to leaf bowls, as well as building our own leaf decomposer and planter boxes, ready for planting bulbs for the spring.
We will likely be exploring ice and its properties and learning about what animals do through the winter as well as celebrating the darker nights making lanterns and candles.
Term 3 + 4
This is a reminder that all Winter term (January to April) bookings need to be confirmed by Friday 4th December. All families who currently attend the after school club will receive their winter term invoice in the week commencing 23rd November.
We try to re-use and recycle as much as possible when planning activities, you can help us with items we use regularly. If you have any of the items listed below then please hand to a leader on collection and we will quarantine them until safe to use, thank you.
Items needed - toilet role/ kitchen role tubes, egg cartons, glass jam jars, 2 litre milk bottles.