Throughout July, August and September, I have been working on gaining the Certificate in Therapeutic Skill for Outdoor Leaders from The Therapeutic Forest CIC, who run inspiring inclusive Forest School groups for children with SEN in Manchester.
This course is normally run at Manchester Metropolitan University. But due to the current pandemic, it has been moved online so I jumped at the chance at being able to gain the qualification remotely.
The four module of the course comprised of:
The Therapeutic Toolkit: Learning how to support the emotional wellbeing of children in Forest setting through improve emotional regulation, growth mindset, solution focused approaches and the promotion of resilience and motivation.
Meeting the needs of children with learning disabilities at Forest School: Using strategies to support children with specific difficulties including Down Syndrome, Autism, ADHD, SLD, SLCN and PMLD. Learning how to adapt equipment and use communication supports to meet the needs of children with different learning disabilities.
Supporting children with attachment difficulties and developmental trauma: Understanding Attachment and tailoring strategies to different attachment styles. Understand and apply the Circle of Security during Forest School Sessions. Adapting communication to best support children with attachment disorders. Supporting looked after children in the Forest using the PACE model.
Child development and developmental therapies at Forest School: How to use techniques used by Speech and Language therapists to support language development. Strategies to support the development of Social Communication Skills. Supporting the development of gross and fine motor skills.
As you can see, it is an incredibly rich and challenging course. However, going forwards I will be registered as a Therapeutic Forest Approved Practitioner and will be supported by being a member of that network. I’m really looking forward to being able to enrich my practice with these new skills.