Coronavirus update

We are open for the Summer!

Following the development of government guidelines to allow educational and childcare settings to open, we expect to be working on a limited number of sites over the Summer holidays.

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 additional conditions and procedures as a result of the pandemic, which are detailed below. We are working at a very small number of sites, and with restricted group sizes, so availability will be extremely limited.

We are very happy to be able to work in spite of the virus outbreak. We think at this time of stress and uncertainty that it is more important than ever that children get some time to play outdoors. We are fortunate that our working environment outdoors is intrinsically safer than any other social setting, but we have developed a number of 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.

Primary schools  and other educational and childcare settings will be accepting children from June 1, in reduced class sizes and subject to government-specified infection controls. The government recommended class size is half a class (or roughly 15 children). The infection control procedures required by government guidelines are:

  • minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend childcare settings, schools or colleges
  • cleaning hands more often than usual – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered
  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene – promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
  • minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times)

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 5 principles above, which will help to keep you and your children safe. You can see the UK Government’s full guide to implementing protective measures in education settings 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 14 days before the date of their attendance (they and you should be self-isolating as per government guidelines)

Children who turn up with a cough – or who are accompanied by an adult or sibling with a 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.

 

Additional kit on the day

Your own pen!

Please bring your own pen to sign at registration – this protects you from having to use a pen that every other adult has touched.

Hand sanitiser

Please provide your child with sufficient hand sanitiser to use before snack breaks during the day. We provide hand washing facilities once we are at camp, but morning snack happens during the journey and children will need to sanitise hands before this. Staff will be checking for hand sanitiser as part of the kit check at the beginning of the day. Children without a sufficient supply of hand sanitiser will not be accepted, and you will not get a credit / refund for the day.

We do not provide hand sanitiser for children, as some children are allergic to certain brands, and the passing of a bottle from hand to hand is in itself a potential transmission hazard.

Disposable tissues

We comply with the government’s “catch it, bin it, kill it” advice. All children attending must have a packet of disposable tissues so they can catch and bin their coughs and sneezes. Staff will be checking for tissues as part of the kit check at the beginning of the day. Children without tissues will not be accepted, and you will not get a credit / refund for the day.

Masks

The UK government guidance on masks says: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended…. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.”

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

  • masks do not protect the wearer from infection; their only use is 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

Children and adults in these categories should not attend Wild Learning, and we make it clear in our communications with parents that if their children or any member of their household is shielding or clinically vulnerable, then they should not attend.

Group size

The UK government’s recommendation for primary schools is that they accept a half class at a time, with a suggested upper limit of 15 children. Working outdoors, with no cramped corridors or ventilation issues we are happy to maintain our standard maximum group size of 16.

Registration

Please bring your own pen to sign at registration – this protects you from having to use a pen that every other adult has touched.

Please maintain social distance while queuing to sign in and out. This means you must be 2 metres from the other adults while queuing.

Please stay 2 metres 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 registartion and ask any questions while maintaining the recommended 2m distance.

The leader will have set up a visual guide to indicate where the queue should start – please respect that and do not crowd around our staff.

 

Hygiene procedures

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

  • transmission is greatly reduced outside
  • children are at less risk than adults of transmitting the disease and of developing serious symptoms

which is reassuring. However, 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 significant 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
  • we will be moving to 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 2m 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. Please do not send your children if you expect them to strictly maintain a 2m distance from everyone at every moment during the day – as it is simply impossible to do this while doing what we do. 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.

The morning circle greeting time will be expanded so that there is adequate (at least 2m) space between each child and between children and adults. 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 2m 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 2m 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 2 weeks of their visit to us please email us at info@wild-learning.net

It is a good idea to launder clothes after a day in which you have been in contact with anyone who is not from your immediate household, as there is some evidence the virus can linger on fabrics.