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Forest School Approach to Learning

Fernee Forest Club supports the core principles of Forest School, as developed by the Forest School Association.

Key features of this include:

  • Creating regular opportunities to be in nature, through the seasons, ideally in wild and bio diverse spaces like woodlands.

  • High adult to child ratios (1:6 max)

  • Using risk benefit assessments; that enable children to manage risk themselves and develop skills and confidence.

  • child led exploration and play - to promote curiosity and the joy of learning



Joint Chairs: Jo Degregorio and Michael Parker

Treasurer: Kellie York

Secretary: Catherine Sculthorpe

Next meeting: 4th April 2019

about us

Sara Fernee is the Community Project Manager of Fernee Forest Club. She set up the Forest Club with the support of the Bevendean Community. Sara is a Level 3 qualified Forest School Leader, a qualified secondary art teacher, experienced artist and creative workshop leader. She is passionate about getting children and families outdoors, embracing the wild natural spaces on their doorstep. Sara uses the Forest School Ethos (more on that below) and her creative skills to inspire enjoyment and exploration of the great outdoors. 

Fernee Forest Club Assistants

Sara is supported by a range of  experienced forest school assistants; with specialisms in art, ecology and outdoor education. They each bring something special to our sessions; whether its Hannah for her brilliant smile, unfaltering mother sense, creativity and adventurousness; or Jack for his weird and wonderful encyclopedic knowledge of native wildlife. Tamsin for her calm presence, yoga and art expertise, all weather unflappability and joy in nature’s small stuff and Hajul for her uncanny ability to spot the miraculous, trouble shoot in the nick of time and make something beautiful.

All Forest club staff are subject to our safeguarding policy, take part in regular training and are DBS checked.

our story: Fernee Forest Club

Fernee forest club was established in 2016 at Bevendean Community Garden and Woods.

Fernee forest club has been in partnership with Bevendean Community Garden for the past 3 years to improve the local woodland, extend local engagement with the natural spaces available and develop affordable Forest School opportunities for children and families in East Brighton. We have secured funding for our work and have collaborated with many other local organisations on events that promote health, well being and community.

Over time, Fernee Forest Club has evolved to be come a Community Organisation with its own voluntary Committee and Members who support the social aims and growth of the project.

Fernee forest club runs a series of regular sessions Bevendean, including the Young Explorers sessions, After School Adventures club and the Monthly Family Forest Club.

In addition to our work in Bevendean; we also work with other organisations in Brighton and beyond, such as schools and nurseries, to run sessions in their own settings as well as in local parks and other wild spaces.

Fernee forest club enables play in nature and empowerment through opportunity for children to assess their own risks and be self directed. Gradual learning about nature and conservation is an integral part of what we do; through facilitating curiosity, mindfulness and creativity. Together we share stories and experiences, making links between cultures, histories and communities, for example in the uses of fire, crafts and songs. Familiarity with the natural space develops over time, allowing children to develop a relationship with nature, noticing changes through the seasons, human impact and the benefits of being nature’s caretakers.

Health & Safety

 All activities and sites used by Fernee Forest Club are risk assessed. We are First Aid Trained specifically for working outdoors with children.