FAQ's for AP parents & Carers
Thanks for finding us. We understand you will have lots of questions if your child has been referred to our Alternative Provision. Please have a look through some of the questions & answers below and if you would like further information please contact us on our email.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. Our approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them.
What we do
We utilise the Forest School Practice to provide an Alternative Provision in Kingston Upon Thames. We concentrate on offering SEMH School children in Y1 - Y7, parents and their schools, a respite break from challenging behaviours.
Children that need extra support away from the traditional mainstream school environment and curriculum benefit from spending time in our safe spaces. We have specialist staff who have developed outdoor activities to engage the individual child. We encourage emotional regulation and give the child coping strategies before a return to their placement. We ask that the child is with us for a minimum of 19 weeks up to one academic year.
I am worried about my child missing 'academic' lessons
We believe that a child is not able to study in a conventional school setting until they are emotionally secure within themselves. We do not have 'learning objectives' and the entire session is child focussed and led. We do however follow and believe in our 8 C's curriculum and try to ensure this is embedded if everything we do.
The 8 C's
The ability to ask questions and explore how the world works
The ability to generate new ideas and to apply them in practice
The ability to analyse information and ideas and to form reasoned arguments and judgements
The ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently in a range of media and forms
The ability to to work constructively with others
The ability to empathise with others and act accordingly
The ability to connect with the inner life of feeling and develop a sense of personal harmony and balance
The ability to engage constructively with society and to participate in the process to sustain it
Who we are?
FSUK have been operating at St John’s School in Kingston upon Thames for a number of years. Recently we have opened a second site at Hogsmill Nature Reserve. We accept referrals from the Education Inclusion Support Service (EISS) at Achieving For Children, Direct referrals from schools and referrals from home school parents with an SEMH child. We have highly trained Forest School Leaders and support staff, all of which have lots of experience looking after children with challenging behaviours. All of our staff receive yearly safeguarding training and all are trained in specialist outdoor first aid skills. You can read all about our staff here.
Where is FSUK?
FSUK has sites at St Johns Primary and Nursery School and Hogsmill Nature Reserve, both in Kingston Upon Thames. Our sites consists of allotments, forest areas and open spaces. We have small classrooms as most of our activity is outdoors. The sites are secure and have separate gates away from other children and adults. We have running water and a compostable toilet. We all have radios for contacting each other if needed.
What are the hours that my child will attend?
Children attend for up to two days, some across two sites, you will receive a detailed email with all the Information you require if a place is offered.
Monday, St John's , 0900-1200
Tuesday, St John's, 0900-1200
Wednesday, Hogsmill, 0900-1200
Thursday, Hogsmill, 1000-1400
Friday, Hogsmill, 1000-1400
How long will my child attend for?
Our placements last a minimum of 19 weeks, some placements can be extended up to a year.
How will my child get to you?
You will have to drop your child and pick them up at the correct times.
Can I visit FSUK and meet the staff?
Of course, parents and carers are very welcome to visit, call, text or email us to arrange this.
A typical morning at FSUK
The morning starts with a relaxed dynamic group meeting with a child led focus on emotional regulation and skill learning. This can often include games, conversation starters, drawing and telling stories - importantly the children aren’t pressured to engage though will be encouraged. The main part of our morning will consist of a forest school session which is entirely child led with the adults introducing activities to take part in. Later on we always gather around the fire (which one of the children will light) to reflect on our day and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit.
What should my child wear?
Please see our New Starter page for a full list of what your child needs.
Reporting progress & keeping in touch
We are always available at drop off and pick up for a quick chat
You will receive access to a tracker online which will contain a short report of your child's days
Our mobile phone number for parents is 07736 588 733, you can text or call anytime in school hours
How to find us
St John's Site
ST John's Nursery & Primary School
Kingston KT1 2SG
Getting to us:
Our pedestrian gate can be found on Three Bridges Path to the side of St John's School.
By Bus: The K1 & K4 both stop on Villiers Road, we are a short walk down Portland Road.
By train: Surbiton, Kingston and Berrylands stations are a 15 minute walk away.
By car: Use postcode KT1 2SG, there is limited parking on Portland Road using Ring-Go. Please note the restricted times below.
To help keep our children safe, the School Streets scheme for our St John's site started on Monday 1 November 2021. This operates as a restricted pedestrian and cycle only zone, Monday - Friday between 8.30am-9.30am and 2.45pm-3.45pm during school term times only. During these periods there will be restrictions on vehicles entering the zone. You will be fined if you drive through the scheme when it's operational.
Hogsmill Nature Reserve
Lower Marsh Lane
Kingston KT1 3BW
Getting to us:
Our pedestrian gate can be found on the shared cycle and footpath between Berrylands train station and Lower Marsh Lane.
By bus: the K1, K2 or K4. The reserve is approx 20-minute walk from each.
By train: The nearest train station is Berrylands, which overlooks our site. Our gate is is a 2-minute walk from there.
By car: Use postcode KT1 3BW, there is limited parking on Lower Marsh Lane using Ring-Go. We do have access to a carpark on request for larger visits and minibus parking.