Having taken some time off to start my other placement with Forest School Camps (FSC), I was now back at HPS. On Tuesday, we planned the Thursday session at Killingbeck, where, having got permission from the council, we hoped to do den building, kindling collections and some games. The session itself ran slightly different to what we had planned. There weren’t many young people that week and those that were there seemed quite distracted. I ended up leading some sensory forest school games, and then we collected wood and eventually made a small fire (see photo). The fire hadn’t been planned, but having collected the kindling, it felt that it would be an uncompleted job not to actually make a fire.
Following on from making the poo signs, at the Rosebank on Friday we put the signs up. It turns out they really enjoyed planting the onions and were excited to watch them grow and so after putting the signs up we planted sunflowers and peas. We ended the session by making seed-bombs (or what now have to be called seed angels...).
The following Tuesday we had the team meeting and then more evaluation of the previous week and then more planning for the upcoming week. We agreed that one issue with running sessions in the meadows at Killingbeck, rather than the contained allotment, was the risk of people walking off and/or leaving without the staff knowing. We therefore agreed that in this weeks session, we would start by discussing with the young people and coming up with an agreement which everyone would respect. Central to this, was that the young people would not go out of site without asking if an adult would go with them. I found it slightly uncomfortable that we wanted the young people to come up with the agreement, but at the same time, we had a set of ideas which we felt we needed the young people to agree with.
On Thursday, the struggle was getting them to focus and engage with the activity. Understandably, they didn’t want to discuss an agreement, but to go into the meadow and make fires and play games. Ironically, their reluctance to engage meant that we ended up only having half an hour on the meadow, when we had hoped to have over an hour. When they did engage in the conversation about the agreement, they said very sensible things and one of the first points they made was about always being insight of an adult. It'll be interesting to see whether they stick to the agreement. Within the agreement it also states that if they break it, the staff will have to chat with them about the behaviour on the meadow before they are allowed back to a session on the meadow.