Forest School
Activity Days

school holiday activities in devon

Brought To You By East Devon Riding Academy

The Forest School Activity Days at East Devon Riding Academy will run from 11am until 3pm. After getting together by the meeting point at the stables, the action will begin. The children will wave goodbye to their parents and take a walk across the fields, seeing the horses and goats as they go. They will climb through the secret hole in the hedge, following the animal tracks to a day of adventure.

The activities will take place on the edge of the Rockenhayne Valley, in a private and unspoilt part of our 27 acre site. Each day will have a theme and there will be games, a campfire, nature elements and something to make to take home! The Forest School Activity Days are suitable for children aged from 6 to 12 years. There is no need for parents to stay but they can do if they wish. 

Why Forest School Activities? 
Forest school activities promote safe ‘wild’ play - den building, wild art, greenwood working skills, outdoor cooking with nature games and discovery.

With many UK children spending less time outdoors than prisoners, our activity days help busy parents to get their children out, active, learning, playing and enjoying the beautiful East Devon countryside.

We begun offering the opportunity for children to join us for the morning back in 2011. Our many years of experience in the industry helped us to define our Pony Mornings so we could offer children enjoyable, active and educational activities whilst providing parents with value for money and the peace of mind that we would strive to keep their children happy, engaged and most importantly, safe. Our reputation for hosting high quality Pony Mornings rapidly grew, we started with just two for the whole summer holidays and we now run two for every week of every school holiday and half term. Each year we welcome new children but we also have many returning customers, several who are local and some who just visit us once a year when they are on holiday. Some of the children who attend our pony mornings are regular riders and some have never ridden before- all are welcome as we split the group according to experience if necessary.
Firstly, we understand children. We teach 1000’s of them every year! Our teaching methods follow an active learning approach, which keeps children involved by learning through doing, rather than the traditional but less effective way of just telling them what to do. All of our sessions are delivered through age appropriate activities, which enable children to succeed and learn whilst they are having fun. We guide the Pony Morning where appropriate, however we also encourage the children to be part of the decision making and empower them to have the freedom to discover and explore.
Secondly, we understand horses. We spend 1000’s of hours with them every year! The welfare of our animals is a huge passion of ours and we work very hard to look after our horses to a very high standard. This ensures that their health and well being is optimised and they are happy in their jobs, as after all, a happy horse is a safer horse. Our teaching methods do not involve bullying or forceful communication, such as encouraging children to kick or whip animals to make them do what they want. Instead the children are taught humane, respectful handling and riding techniques which keeps them safer and protects the horses from physical and psychological harm. Children absolutely love our kind methods and the harmony and success that they bring.
Thirdly, we understand what parents want. As parents ourselves, we appreciate that safety is a top priority and we structure our activities to minimise the risks involved with being around animals. We offer close supervision, well planned activities and high quality instruction with well maintained, purpose built facilities. We know that you want your children to enjoy their time with us, so we try our best to make this happen and give them a positive experience with lasting, happy memories. Our high standards, ethical horsemanship, fantastic resources and excellent supervision also give superb value for money.
About The Activity Day Leader, Cara Jenkins

Cara is a level 3 qualified Forest School practitioner and has over 15 years experience of Outdoor Learning, including student initiation with PGL Young Adventure and 7 years at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne. Here she taught rural skills, crafts and pre-history. She has also taught at Alabare Include as a conservation Team Leader for a Salisbury Ecominds project, “Environment in Mind” – feeling better outside with Mental Health.

Cara has become a Jurassic Coast Ambassador for the Jurassic Coast Trust and runs some of their children’s activities, namely the great Dorchester Museum sleepovers, rangers events and summer Beach Schools.

Last year saw her doing a season with Magdalen Farm. Here she was involved in teaching environmental education to many groups and residentials, including adults, Mountjoy School, Autism Wessex and Encompass as well as some summer sessions at the beautiful Forde Abbey.

“Feeling comfortable outdoors and having fun opens up the world of nature adventure and discovery.”

The activity days will carry on whatever the weather, so please send your child (ren) with appropriate clothing for the weather on the day- that might include sun hats and sun cream or wooly hats and gloves! They will need to wear wellies on their feet and bring waterproofs. They will also need a packed lunch and drinks.

Copyright 2017, East Devon Riding Academy