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    New Forest School for budding Bear Grylls launched at Otley

    An adventure day will give youngsters the chance to be wild and free in the woods as part of a Forest School launch at our Otley Campus.

    This particular Forest School day for Budding Bear Grylls will take place at the Otley campus of the college on 24 October 2019 between 10am and 3pm.

    The first pilot course took place during the summer as part of an expanding programme that has been created by the colleges own business hub called Rural Enterprise East (REE).

    12 young people took part in the initial Forest School one-dayer, as their parents took full advantage of the onsite hot-desking facility at REE.

    Although according to the director of REE, Digby Chacksfield, ‘some of the parents were so taken by the course that they downed tools and joined in with the sessions’.

    He continued, “They (the courses) proved to be so popular that the college is now looking at ways of expanding future forest school programmes.”

    The school at Otley has been set up by former deputy headteacher, Jo Ling from Haughley. After a eureka moment in which she realised that ‘you could pay me a million pounds to do my job and it would still not make me happy’ she swapped teaching for trees and set up her own outdoor education business for young children and their families.

    She is now looking forward to developing her business at the Otley campus.

    She said, “Activities (at the Forest School) will include cooking over the fire, tree climbing with ropes, breadmaking, fire lighting, charcoal making, hammock building, hot chocolate drinking, marshmallow eating and we always do things on the spur of the moment.”

    Future plans include teaching home educated students, having a pre-school course, offering professional development opportunities for forest school leaders and working with teachers and students at Otley as part of a continuing professional development service that is set to begin in early 2020.

    “I love my job,” continued Mrs Ling. “It relaxes me and you feel connected to nature. It’s great seeing others relax and watching their troubles being shed on these courses. I love being able to facilitate that.”

    To book, please click here.