What and Where is Herd Farm?
Herd Farm is a residential and activity centre in Leeds. It has a beautiful large site with an Iron Age style enclosure containing 3 replica roundhouses. https://www.herdfarm.co.uk/
What Outdoor Learning Does Forest School Plus (FSP) Do at Herd Farm?
We can accomodate curriculum linked outdoor learning to more child centred Forest School type sessions.
Most of our sessions at Herd Farm have been to support learning about Changes in Prehistoric times from Stone Age to Iron Age because Herd Farm has a reconstructed Iron Age enclosure with three roundhouses. Adjacent to this is a mesolithic camp built by FSP in June 2021.
Sessions about the Invasion of Britain by the Romans called "The Romans are Coming!" are also available.
Other sessions are possible including: curriculum linked outdoor learning and Forest School for pupils, and art/craft or CPD for adults.
Contact Tina for details.
How Much do the Sessions cost?
April 2021 – March 2022
Additional charges may apply for extra facilities (see below)
VAT applies in some cases.
Contact Herd Farm for details.
Do you charge per child?
No, we charge by class as FSP can only work with one class at a time and the work involved is the same for a class of 20 or 30. Pupils in a smaller class may get more chance to engage in discussion.
Can we bring 2 classes at the same time?
Not usually. Forest School Plus has a tiny team of two and we only have seating for one class in the roundhouse enclosure. Herd Farm is always keen to welcome classes. If you need two classes to come on one coach to make the visit economically viable it is worth contacting Herd Farm. Depending on availability they may be able to hire out an indoor space that your school could use as a classroom for the day. Whilst one class works with their class teacher the other will be working with FSP outside. They can then swap after lunch. If this is possible there would be an additional charge.
How has making the sessions Covid aware affected the visits?
Covid aware sessions began again in June 2021. They will continue to be offered after 19th July 2021 whilst infection rates are high in the UK and the long term effectiveness the vaccination programme, boosters and variants of concern is better understood.
They have been planned to keep participants and FSP leaders safe and to keep bubbles separate. To facilitate this the learning sessions will be half days (approximately 2 hours) and 100% outside, either in the morning or the afternoon. Classes will be allocated a toilet for their bubble’s sole use.
Handling of Forest School Plus resources will be limited and these will be quarantined/sanitised between different groups. This has had an impact on the type and variety of activities we will be able to offer. There will be no close contact with pupils so no face painting or dressing up and the frequency we can offer sessions is limited to Mondays and Fridays only.
Participants must take appropriate action during the visit for others safety including hand washing, sanitising, social distancing from FSP leaders or other visitors to Herd Farm. Artefacts on display must not be touched and pupils must be supervised at all times. Anyone with symptoms, a positive test result or self-isolating must not attend. Contact Herd Farm as soon as possible to discuss reason for cancellations. Contact Tina to re-schedule bookings.
Can classes eat lunch at Herd Farm?
FSP used to host classes in the roundhouse enclosure whilst they had a picnic. As part of our Covid Aware risk assessment we limit our contact time with pupils so this is no longer an option. If your school is relatively close to Herd Farm you should be able to visit easily in the morning or afternoon and take lunch at school. Perhaps all children could have a packed lunch that day so lunch staff are not delayed if your transport is caught in a traffic jam.
If your school needs to travel a longer distance and your pupils will need to eat lunch at either the beginning or end of their visit contact Herd Farm to discuss lunch arrangements. If there is availability they may be able to host your class either in an outdoor picnic site (no charge) or you may even be able to book an indoor space (for an additional charge).
How are the Covid aware sessions like the previous Prehistory Experiences?
The Herd Farm site continues to be awe inspiring.
The roundhouse enclosure is an exceptional resource for learning about Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age Prehistory and the Britons at the time of the Roman Invasion. Our Mesolithic Camp adjacent to the enclosure facilitates the time travelling experience during the visit.
Tina is an experienced teacher and Forest School leader ensuring that the concepts taught are relevant to the curriculum, accessible to KS2 and hands on when possible.
Ian is an experienced archaeologist ( http://www.ianrobertsarchaeology.co.uk/ ) ensuring information reflects current research and his own experience of experimental archaeology. He discusses and demonstrates the use of prehistoric tools with a collection of facsimile artefacts, lights fire using prehistoric methods and is happy to answer questions.
When will full day visits start again?
We cannot say at this time. We will continue to follow our Covid Aware risk assessments beyond 19th July 2021 until we feel it is safe to return to our previous sessions.
Although the UK has done well with it’s vaccination programme and has now moved to stage 4 of its road map, the world is still in a pandemic and many in the UK are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. It is the nature of viruses to vary so we do not know yet if the vaccination programme will allow us to return completely to the old “normal”. While there is movement of people globally and poorer countries have limited access to vaccines we will still be living with the virus for the time being and control measures will continue to be necessary. Re-opening of UK life and facilities does not imply all H&S and hygiene mediation is no longer required. Both Forest School Plus, Herd Farm and schools have a duty of care to young people so we all need to act within our risk assessments for Covid.