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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Roots to the Future Policies and Procedures,

Statement of Intent: Roots to the Future aims to set up practical learning at multiple sites over the next 3 years and with the use of the natural surrounding outdoor areas to offer the children an insight into Forest Education, Outdoor Education and Bushcraft. This approach to outdoor learning encourages children to become independent, learn practical life skills and provides the ability to engage with risk-taking within a safe environment as a holistic development and approach for children. These methods of learning help to incorporate children’s individuality, develop their skills for lifelong learning and create a paradigm for them to be able to thrive as healthy and socially accepted adults. Holistic education focuses on the whole self and Forest education explores the natural outdoor environment with practical, useful activities all year round. It develops peer learning with the adults providing support and the child’s interest at the heart of every activity. Roots to the Future has many additional policies which will be adhered to alongside this policy within our settings, outdoor areas and sessions. 

  • Behavioural Policy 

  • Safeguarding Policy 

  • SEND Policy 

  • Health and Safety Policy 

  • Legislation considered for policy: 

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 

  • Children Act 2004 

  • RIDDOR (Accident Reporting) 

Implementation: Our Community education sessions will be delivered by trained tutors. They will deliver practical education following the guidance set out from the core values of Roots to the Future. A copy of all policies and procedures will be taken outside while running sessions as this contains vital information needed and includes procedures in the event of an emergency etc. 

Equality and Diversity: All children will be included with all activities and no form of discrimination will take place, reasonable adjustments will be made to make it inclusive for all. Inclusion is a thread which runs through all of the Community activities regardless of a child’s ability, disability, gender, race, culture, etc. Roots to the Future has an Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Policy and an Equal Opportunities Policy which will be adhered to during Community sessions. 

Roles and Responsibilities: 

  •  Risk Assessment for the site. 

  •  Risk Assessment for the sessions held. 

  •  Qualified Community tutors with a full DBS check.

  •  Volunteers will have the correct first aid training/qualifications with first aid kit and emergency procedures with them on site.

  •  Supervision of site, tools and equipment. 

  •  Respect towards the site with the correct prep involved for running and closing down sessions held.

  •  Volunteers, tutors and attendees will model good practice and awareness towards safety measures during the sessions. 

Health and Safety Policy: Community sessions by their nature encourage children to develop their own risk management skills and supports them in being able to become responsible for themselves and others around them. Ratios within the woodland area will be 1 adult to 8 children. DBS checks and all risk assessments will be completed prior to each session. Weather conditions will be monitored regularly and sessions cancelled if they become too extreme with all children and adults in appropriate clothing. An open fire risk assessment will be carried out before a fire is allowed and with the correct health and safety equipment present. A Community Leader will be present at all times and children will be reminded of safe practice if anything becomes to dangerous. Roots to the Future has a Health and Safety Policy, Safeguarding Children Policy etc. to enhance aspects of health and safety. Risk Assessments will include the sites, the equipment and activities, open fires and individual risk assessments for all tools. 

Emergency Procedure: In the event of an emergency the following will happen; A Emergency Whistle will be blown and children advised to put tools down by other adults in surrounding areas and to await further instructions. The Community Leader will assess the situation and remove any hazards. Then once any hazard has been removed the leader will deal with the incident or follow the first aid procedures in the case of an accident.

Lost child Procedure: As soon as it is discovered that the head count at any particular moment does not agree with that recorded at the start of that session an immediate recount will occur. If this still shows a shortfall, all activities will be suspended and “1, 2, 3, come to me” call will be used to rally all group members. One adult will be released for a five-minute search of the immediate area, whilst another adult occupies the remaining children with a game/song or story. The main aim to prevent anxiety escalating amongst the children, “1, 2, 3, come to me” will be carried out once more. If the five-minute search does not discover the missing child/children, the Community Leader will take the group back to base, retracing the paths taken earlier. One adult will stay in the area to continue looking, contact will be maintained by mobile phone. If the searching adult has still not found the missing child/ren the team will be notified to alert any supporting volunteers to help in the search. At this point, the Site Manager will be notified by the Community Leader of the current situation. The Site Manager may choose to alert Police and Parents and follow the appropriate policy and process. The volunteers and tutors should immediately make a record of events and timings and last known position of the child/children. These will be recorded in the Community incident book. 

First Aid Procedure: A number of staff within the team (including the current Community Leader) are qualified first aiders and will administer the care needed. A first aid kit will be taken to all sessions and will be checked regularly. Whilst dealing with a first aid incident, the leader will ensure the safety of all other children within the group by advising other adults present of the situation and ask them to monitor the other children, if alone children will be called to the area that the leader is in and if necessary all children will be taken indoors. Seek emergency help if needed and don't move the child apart from putting them into the recovery position if badly injured. There will be a first aid kit taken into the woodland area and extra first aid equipment is located within the site. Contact the parents and complete the accident report forms. Ensure all staff are aware of medical conditions of the children and inhalers, epi pens etc. are taken into woodland. A walkie talkie or mobile phone at the outdoor classroom area should be used to call to the school to arrange extra medical support i.e. paramedics. 

Child Protection: It is the responsibility of the Community Leader and accompanying adults to ensure the safety of children when on a forest school session. We are committed to creating an environment in which children are safe and free from harm. It is the role of the Community Leader to minimize the risk of abuse taking place: By educating children how to stay safe and speak out if feeling at risk. Taking appropriate action should any allegations arise and following Roots to the Future child protection and safeguarding policy. Adults including parent helpers working within community sessions need to appreciate that when children feel comfortable and content, when their instinct to trust and risk take is encouraged, they may disclose information which they might otherwise keep to themselves. Any volunteer who finds that a child is telling them something which concerns them should: Listen to the child, allowing them to lead the discussion. Keep calm and offer some reassurance and accept what the child says without challenge. Make NO promises, you cannot ‘keep a secret’. You should make it understood that there are limits to confidentiality at the start of the disclosure. Inform the designated member of staff in Roots to the Future. Keep an accurate, written record of the conversation including; the date, time, the location and what was said by the child and yourself. Keep it secure and hand the record to the designated member for child protection as soon as possible. Any suspicion of abuse will be promptly and appropriately dealt with in accordance with Roots to the Future Safeguarding Children Policy. 

Behaviour Procedure: The Community Leader will follow Roots to the Future Behaviour Policy, however if the behaviour of an individual, or group of individuals is such that it puts their own and others safety at risk then the individual(s) may be required to return with an accompanying adult. This will be at the discretion of the Community Leader. 

Weather conditions: Following Roots to the Futures ethos of......‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!’ Children are advised to dress warmly and wear waterproofs if necessary. However, there are some occasions where it may not be safe or practical to go ahead with a planned session due to extreme weather; In the case of high winds of 25mph or more determined by the met office online. In the case of extreme temperature determined by a met office amber weather warning. In the case of extreme cold of below ‘0’ a session will be cancelled if it is near to this we will ensure children are appropriately dressed, sessions will be made shorter and activities will be planned to ensure children are kept moving.

Food safety and Hygiene Procedures: Children at Roots to the Future are taught a strict NO eating rule in application to foraging, only to eat what is provided if it is a specific activity led by an adult to prepare and cook food. Initially, when children are ready they will participate in simple cooking on the fire activities which include; toasting marshmallows/waffles and making s’mores. There is always a staff member present with food hygiene training, when food is being handled and prepared. Food Preparation, transport and storage; Hands will be washed thoroughly and any cuts/grazes covered in the correct manner (blue plaster or ideally gloves) before handling and preparing food. Any food needing preparation will be prepared in the Roots to the Future kitchen e.g. bread dough Food will be stored in clean containers and transported in a cool bag to and from the site, with any clean utensils and cooking pans required. The box will remain closed in between use with food covered in bags or boxes; to avoid attracting flies and other insects. Raw meats will be stored separately from any other foods. All ‘use by’ dates will be checked on foods before eating. Water for cooking will be provided in a clean sealed storage container. Handling, cooking and eating Food; A fresh, clean, bucket of warm soapy water will be available for children to wash their hands before handling food or utensils. Children are taught how to cook food safely following the activity risk assessment and fire procedure. All food will be checked by an adult to ensure it is fully cooked before eating. Children will be asked to sit still around the fire circle or to move to a designated eating area from the fire to keep numbers to a minimum near the fire circle. Clearing away and cleaning up; ALL food not eaten or cooked will be placed in black bin bags and disposed of in the bin at the end of the session by one of the adults. The area is checked to ensure there are no food traces to avoid vermin being attracted to the area. ALL utensils and pans will be washed at the station in hot soapy water and stored away correctly. 

Use of Tools procedure: Children and adults will be informed of rules, safety and trained in the use of each tool before they use it. Tool use guidance documents will be carried by the leader during each session and tool use ratios will be at the discretion of the Community Leader. Ratios will be set out in the session risk assessments. Relevant personal protection equipment will be worn at all times. Tools will be counted in and out and checked against an inventory. Tools will be stored safely and kept out of the reach of children. They will be cleaned after each use to prolong their life, broken and damaged tools will not be used. 

Use of Fires procedure: A Community Leader must always be present when a fire is lit and must never be left unattended. There must always be water available to extinguish the fire. Fires will be built in a designated fire area: if a tarpaulin is placed above the fire it should be approximately 8 feet above the fire and seating will be at a distance of 1.5 meters. Relevant personal protection equipment will be used to build fires. Children will be reminded of the fire pit procedures at each and every visit. To walk behind the log seats and stand behind the log. To step over and sit down on the log seat. To stand up, turn around and step over the log. Children are not allowed to cross the inner circle (adults should be role models of this). The fire box containing fire retardant gloves, first aid kit and fire blanket should be placed close to the fire circle along with a covered bucket of clean cold water. 

Environment: Wherever possible environmentally friendly products and recycled materials will be used. Roots to the Future will promote environmental awareness, sustainability, conservation and care for our environment. The woodland and natural outdoor areas of the site will be maintained to ensure the survival of all native flora and fauna and new flora will be introduced if needed. We will remove all litter and debris we take into the woodland and have regular litter picks to remove other refuse which is in the area. We will be caring towards our neighbours and try to minimise the amount of smoke and noise produced. Brambles and nettles will be removed from the main pathways but will be allowed to grow in other areas of the woodland to support and encourage the national rewilding scheme. Branches at eye level and below on the main pathways will be removed to avoid injuries for people entering the woodland unsupervised (without the Community Leader), they will remain on all other trees. Dead and fallen branches will be removed, cut down and stored in the log store and used as firewood. During the winter months, large stones and logs will be left alone to avoid disturbing hibernating creatures. There will be areas created where wood is allowed to rot to encourage insects to thrive, wild flowers will be allowed to grow and children encouraged to enjoy them growing rather than pick them. The hedgerow around the edge of the woodland will be maintained to encourage small wildlife to live in the woods. Any foraging will be as part of a guided session by an adult and follow the 1:3 ratio for sustainable foraging. Children are not advised to forage alone and the site will be risk assessed in accordance to the Roots to the Future teachers awareness of any poisonous plants or fungi, which if they are far enough away from the outdoor setting and where the children will be playing should be okay to be left alone and not picked/destroyed. 

Monitoring of policy: This policy will be reviewed annually in March 2025 or before should any incidents arise or laws and policies change.

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