Liam is 11 years old and lives in a Foster home. When he first started working with us he was very anxious and his stress levels would escalate easily leading to some very challenging and destructive behaviour. He felt the need to take control of the people around him and the situations he was in.
When he first started attending our forest school sessions he was not interested in following instructions and very adamant that he knew best. There were several times he had to finish early due to his behaviour which presented us with a challenge as it was clear that activities using tools and fire were not suitable for him.
From Liam’s perspective we were just another person telling him what to do because ‘we don’t care and just want to tell him off’...
Working together, Liam and the Outdoor Learning team created a 'contract' written by Liam to establish boundaries and expectations. Tool work and fire became something he had to earn, and timeouts were issued in line with the agreement.
Liam soon proved that he could listen to instructions, and the activities were slowly introduced to his sessions. Forest school became the perfect environment for him to be able to take control of his learning. On his last session he split wood using an axe, lit a fire and then cooked prawns and salmon, following instructions the whole time.
Liam said, ‘at forest school we get to cook new food and try things we never usually would...It makes me feel excited and happy. Forest school makes me feel like a good boy and helps me do things I normally wouldn’t like visit new places and make new friends’