Home education forest sessions

Home Ed

Forest School

Harlequin provide forest sessions for any home educated children looking to expand their experiences and social network.

Forest School provides children with outdoor experiences that build their self-esteem while teaching life skills and approaches in a fun and supportive environment.

Our forest is private, safe and enclosed.  We have built an adventurous playground in the woods where the children can explore and stretch themselves.  We develop tool skill and bush-craft skills, by introducing craft activities and learning experiences.  We play wide-games that can only work with a large group of participants in an open space.  We promote appreciation of nature, the environment and sustainability in an age appropriate and informative way.

Every session has planned activities for the children to try, and we staff with a team of experienced outdoor and forest school educators to ensure every child can achieve.  We encourage children to take part in these activities, but no child is ever forced to join in.

We do:

  • fire starting (safely)
  • cooking
  • whittling and carving
  • sawing, cutting and wood craft
  • lathe turning
  • “bodging” using a shave horse
  • crafts and art
  • wide games
  • scavenger hunts
  • pond dipping
  • conservation
  • team building and personal challenges
  • and much more.

Our goal is that these sessions are what the children and parents want, we like the children to be excited at the prospect of attending each session and to really have a sense that they are achieving.

Sessions are for 5-13 year olds.  They are run fortnightly on a Friday from 10am to 2pm all year, in all weathers.  £20 per child per session.

Harlequin has two exciting forests

Boughtion Monchelsea

Near Coxheath and Maidstone

We have an exquisite forest in Boughton Monchelsea. It is very different from the forest in Tunbridge Wells in that it has totally different trees, plants and animals. It is also more over-grown, which just lends to it’s magic for the children. As well as running regular sessions for home education groups and school sessions, we have visited the site several times with the children during the holiday clubs.  The children have all found it to be great fun and full of adventure.

This woodland is enclosed by a high security fence and only used by Harlequin.  Is is of local and historical significance and includes a 17th Century folly, Britain's highest haha and a number of unique mature trees.  The site once included a stately home (now demolished) and was the epicentre of a vast private estate.  Former owners used their wealth and interest in flora and fauna to travel the world collecting unusual species and examples, many of which are now established.

The site is also home to a large badger sett and a number of fox dens.  On our wildlife cameras we have seen birds of prey, owls, bats, an albino squirrel and an albino badger.  There is a long-abandoned formal pond that has thrived on four decades of isolation.  Here we have discovered newts including rare crested varieties.

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Tunbridge Wells

Forest Education