Coronavirus update

10/02/22

As the COVID pandemic continues to play out, we are working across all our sites in line with UK government guidance.

We hope your children will be able to join us for some sunshine and fresh air in the woods, far away from any COVID-related stress and worry.

You can book as normal from the button on our home page. Bookings are subject to a few additional conditions and procedures as a result of the pandemic, which are detailed below.

We are fortunate that our working environment outdoors is intrinsically safer than any other social setting, but until it is clear that all danger from COVID is past, we are retaining some of our additional procedures to help keep you, your children and our staff safe. These procedures are informed by the current understanding of the virus and government guidelines for educational settings.

Schools  and other educational and childcare settings are able to accept children, subject to government-specified infection controls. The infection control procedures required by government guidelines are currently:

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone.
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The following procedures have been designed to follow government guidelines insofar as they are applicable in an outdoor environment so as to keep everyone as safe as possible while still running an enjoyable day outdoors. The procedures cannot cover every eventuality, but we will use our judgement to apply the government’s principles above, which will help to keep you and your children safe. You can see the UK Government’s full guide to actions for out of school settings during the coronavirus outbreak here.

By booking with us you explicitly agree to the following terms, conditions and procedures, together with our general terms and conditions, and we will expect you to abide strictly by them, so please take a moment to read and understand them.

The following may be subject to change if the official advice on the novel coronavirus changes, so it is worth revisiting this page just before your child is due to attend.

Attendance

Attendance on the day is subject to your child being virus-free, as far as it is practicable to be sure. To this end you must NOT bring your child if they:

  • show any symptoms of COVID-19 on the day
  • show any symptoms within 7 days prior to attending
  • are living with an individual who has shown symptoms within 10 days before the date of their attendance, unless they have a negative PCR test result.

Children who turn up with a persistent cough – or who are accompanied by an adult or sibling with a persistent cough – or who are otherwise obviously unwell will not be accepted by the registering leader. The leader’s decision on this matter is final, and neither they nor we at head office will engage in any discussion on the matter. You will not be eligible for a credit note or a refund under these circumstances

Please be responsible when making a decision about bringing your child – bringing a child who is mildly ill, even if you are sure they are well enough to attend, could threaten the health of other children, and of our staff. Our staff are required to self-isolate at the first sign of any symptoms, so if you send a poorly child – even if you are convinced that they do not have COVID-19 – you risk us having to cancel all future sessions for this season because our staff will be unable to work.

As long as you tell us before 8 am on the morning you are due to come, we offer a credit note or transfer to another date in case of illness, so you will not lose your booking by keeping an ill child at home.

Masks

The UK government guidance on masks says: “Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.”

Please do not send your child in a mask, or ask us to make sure they wear one:

  • the protection afforded by masks to the wearer is less significant than their ability to protect others from infection by the wearer. If your child needs a mask for this reason you should keep them at home.
  • wearing a mask can give your child a false sense of security, and encourage risky behaviour, such as skipping hand washing or touching their face or other children
  • unless it is very strictly and regularly cleaned (or brand new and unused) a mask can act as a reservoir of virus/bacteria, which transfer to your child’s hands when they touch the outside of the mask
  • it is difficult to put on and take off a mask safely and hygienically, and this is something that young children will not be able to do
  • the potential psychological impact of wearing a mask (or seeing one worn) in terms of building anxiety and feeling you are in a dangerous place is the opposite of what we want to achieve

If your child arrives wearing a mask, or if you insist that your child wears a mask during the session we will assume that they are infectious and refuse to accept them. You will not get a refund or a credit note under these circumstances.

On the day

Transport

Avoid public transport if possible. If you must use public transport, follow the government guidelines on safe travelling.

Shielded and clinically vulnerable children and adults

Shielding has now ended: children and adults in these categories are now advised to follow the same COVID-19 guidance as the rest of the population. Clinically vulnerable children may therefore attend Wild Learning.

Group size

Our group size has now reverted to normal, with a maximum of 30 children in any one session.

Registration

Please maintain social distance while queuing to sign in and out. This means you should be 1 metre from the other adults while queuing.

Please stay at least 1 metre from the leader conducting sign in/out while you are waiting, and approach one family at a time when you are invited to do so. Please only have one adult attend per house hold.  Try to sign in and out as quickly as possible, to minimise our staff’s exposure to you. If you have queries about the day please wait until the end of registration and ask any questions while maintaining the recommended 1m distance.

Hygiene procedures

The current science on the transmission on the novel coronavirus indicates that:

  • transmission is greatly reduced outside
  • primary age children are at considerably less risk than adults of developing serious symptoms, although they can still catch and transmit the disease.

We have introduced some additional hygiene procedures into our day plans, to provide extra security against transmission:

  • children will not be permitted to hold hands – hand-hand and then hand-face contact seems to be a vector, so we will be encouraging children to avoid contact with each other wherever possible
  • any Wild Learning games which involve hand holding or prolonged physical contact will be adapted to avoid these
  • everyone will be required to use hand sanitiser before snack breaks – staff will be conducting a check to make sure that all hands have been sterilised before snack time begins
  • tools used during sessions will be disinfected before being passed to another user
  • we will continue to use a tippy tap and solid soap system for hand washing after toileting and before lunch. The tippy tap system allows us to use running water rather than a bucket. You can find out more about how our hand washing procedure works here . There will obviously be a 3-line whip (and strict supervision) of hand washing before lunch and after any toilet visit

Distance

It is clearly impossible to maintain a 1m distance in woods and rough terrain at every second of the day with primary age children. We cannot guarantee that children will not be within touching distance of each other at brief times during the day in the woods with us. However, any games or activities that involve touching or holding hands will be adapted to avoid physical contact, and children will be spaced out while engaged in social actions (such as eating or crafting) to maximise the distance between them.

Children are not allowed to hold hands during the morning circle, while walking, or at any other time during the day. We will remind children of this at the beginning of every session and at periods during the day.

Routes to and from camp will be planned to avoid as far as possible any narrow paths or pinch points which may force other members of the public to pass within 1m of our group.

Static social activities, where children are sitting together (which in a WL situation is largely eating and craft activities), will be arranged to maintain a 1m distance between seated or standing children and adults as far as is practicable.

Kit and objects which are shared (primarily tools) will be disinfected before being passed to another child. The toilet surfaces which are likely to be touched will be disinfected at regular intervals during the day.

WL staff will not handle children’s bags or clothes, or permit children to carry WL kit or (for example) pull the trolley during the day.

We will not be carrying children’s bags or other possessions during the day, and we will keep contact with children’s food to an absolute minimum – so PLEASE send them with food/packets that they can open!

After the day

If your child or any member of their family group develops symptoms of COVID-19 within 10 days of their visit to us please email us at info@wild-learning.net