25 Feb

Our Next Course

Nature Play & the Therapeutic Space (Two day training)

Information and Pricing

Part-funded Primary School Workshops through Heritage In Schools Scheme

The Heritage in Schools scheme makes available to primary schools Heritage Experts who will visit primary schools to work directly with the pupils. The visit by the heritage expert is part-funded by the school and the remaining costs are funded by the Heritage Council.

Suitable for schools who wish to incorporate a Forest School introductory programme of either 5 or 10 weeks, or to have a stand-alone Forest School pilot session. Also great for schools taking action in their An Taisce Green Schools Energy and Biodiversity flags.


There a several different visits to choose from - “Forest School Programmes”, “Energy and Bushcraft”, “Biodiversity” and “Water” themes or “Build a Living Willow Dome”.


Forest School is an amazing way to engage children in a natural way with the principles of the primary school curriculum (PSC). So much learning is happening in every Forest school session that is not necessarily obvious to everyone.

Forest Schools has demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and through play, who have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others.

Forest School programmes can run throughout the year, going to the woods in all weathers (except for high winds).

Children use tools, play, become self motivated learners, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and learn boundaries of behaviour.


Come and enjoy a one-day Forest School style experience either in your school or a local woodland or park or one of my dedicated Forest School sites.

This day long workshop from 10am-2pm will give you a taster of what Forest School is (which by definition is carried out over a longer-term weekly basis). See the UK’s Forest School Association website for more information about what the ethos of Forest School is.

We will start with nature connection games, explore boundaries and engage in nature crafts and activities e.g. using tools, making dens etc. We will also make space for child-led engagement with nature and each other so children can learn in nature in their own way.


Forest School is best delivered with the same children over a longer period of time, so if your low-ropes-fun-2school books 4 days you get the 5th one is free, or double that and have ten weeks of Forest School for your class!

Sessions are child led, but may have a theme which can be linked to the Primary School Curriculum or your own objectives. Children will be encouraged to discover, explore, observe and question what they find in the woods.

By being given responsibility for the woods, themselves and the group they are in, social and emotional development takes place as well as a growing connection and stewardship of their environment. We will set a number of small achievable tasks for them so their confidence increases over time.

The group will also review what they have learnt and experienced to help each child to see how they have developed. All adults present use aspirational language to encourage positive self esteem and decision making.

This process takes place over period of time usually ten weeks, and works best with smaller groups of about twelve to fifteen children.


No more than 25/30 students at one time with teacher/SNA present, roughly 1hr to 1hr 15 in duration in a classroom or hall.

  • Warm-up movement game exploring our everyday energy use.
  • Newtons Laws: Bouncing ball, energy transfer.
  • “What would we need for survival if we were to land on a desert island? In what order?” Exploring what our needs really are for Food, Fire, Shelter, Water.
  • Energy from food experiment; more calories equals more energy, energy chains.
  • Survival Skills: Fire-by-friction demo, friction produces heat. How is fire used in survival?
  • Shelter - Insulation game, heat rises. How do you make a shelter?
  • Water - boil water in gas camp stove, show steam rises, like CO2 and explain turbines and how electricity is made. Make a water-still, explore water cycle.
  • Fossil Fuels - discuss why we need alternatives, see, show and touch.
  • Sustainable energy- Electricity alternatives are? Wind/Turbines, Water/Hydro, Earth/Geo-thermal, Sun/Solar
  • Thank you and end with an explosion. (CO2 escapes under pressure.)

It’s a lot for one hour fifteen and pacing depends on the kids interaction levels so I usually adapt to the class.

All Materials are supplied.

This is practical heritage and environmental education at its best. The exact content of the visit is planned by the Teacher and the Expert together. While many visits include a field-trip, weather permitting, some are exclusively classroom-based as they involve energy experiments. Tailored for your needs, it is possible to conduct a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein


Best done over 5 days (get one free!) and can include a visit to a local woodland or natural amenity, willow  dome making, mini-fort/shelter building.

Content includes:

  • Warm-up with Nature Connection Names
  • Sensory Awareness and Biodiversity game
  • Birds and tracking bird language stories and listening - Nature Awareness
  • Main focus. Choose from/combine: E.g. Forest School activities (pendant making, nature arts and crafts - over 5 or 6 sessions with the same group), Mini-Shelter/Fort/Fairy House building, Bug Hunt, Tree planting.
  • We forage wild edible and medicinal plants in your garden, identify and taste dandelion “like a sour sweet” or nettle “natures hamburger”.
  • Nature Games exploring Natural Communities and Irish Biodiversity which are lots of fun.
  • Closing circle with story of the day and what we explored today and gratitude.


A beautiful way to bring in biodiversity to your school. It also creats a natural, living shelter or special place for your students that they helped build. There are some extra costs for willow and supplies.

This can be a class project, a Green Schools Committee project, or a couple of classes can help to design, plan and build the dome.

Can be done in one session or over several sessions if you want to do more than one dome or to combine with any of the other workshops listed.

All visits aim to give children and teachers a first-hand experience of their local natural heritage, whether by handling fire-by-friction tools, exploring shelter building (Natural material mini-shelters, willow domes and fences), local foraging or by learning to listen out for common birds. As Richard Louv said, “The more high-tech schools become, the more nature they need”.



Earth Force Educations Ciara Hinksman, has been visiting schools all over Ireland for five years delivering “Bushcraft and Biodiversity” and “Bushcraft and Energy Workshops” as an experienced Heritage Expert. She is among the first Forest School Programme Leaders trained to deliver Forest School in R.O.I. and is delighted to work with your school to help you achieve your Green School aims.

The Five-Series Visit (1 visit free!)

If a Heritage Expert visits the same school five times, either over a period of a week or throughout the school year, the school will pay for four visits and the Heritage Council will fund the fifth. If you are interested in participating in this scheme please discuss with the Expert, Ciara, and state this on the booking form when filling it in. The full amount must be paid in full when booking a five-series visit.

Guidelines for Schools 

  1. Obtain approval for the visit from the School Principal or Board of Management.
  2. Select Ciara Hinksman, Heritage Expert from the Heritage Experts list.
  3. Contact Ciara at [email protected] or 086 319 9515 and arrange the date, time and duration of the visit/s.
  4. I plan the content of the visit together with the Principal or Teacher and/or Green Schools Coordinator and decide what preparation must be undertaken by the expert, the teacher and the pupils prior to the visit.
  5. All bookings must be made in advance of visit with the Heritage Council. Please use our online booking system. Failure to book in advance, may result in the visit not being subsidised by the Heritage Council.
  6. The cost of the visit must be paid directly to the Heritage Expert after each visit. Travel costs are covered by the Heritage Council.

The Cost for Heritage Expert visits in 2013 are:

Duration of visit

Half Day (2.5 - 3 hours)

Whole Day (5 - 5.5 hours)

Cost to School €60 €100
Cost to the Heritage Council €40 €70
Cost to designated disadvantaged school €40 €60
Cost to the Heritage Council €60 €110
  1. A short online evaluation form must be completed after each visit.
  2. The number of children participating in a visit by a Heritage Expert should not exceed 30.
  3. The teacher must remain with the class and the Heritage Expert at all times during the visit.
  4. The Heritage Expert is not expected to supervise pupils alone, or to visit for longer than the agreed time.
  5. If the date of visit is changed after the booking form has been submitted  please notify the Heritage Council emailing [email protected] so that all records correspond.
  6. Bookings can only be made for the current calendar year.

To book or for further details please contact Amanda Ryan on  056 777 0777  or e-mail: [email protected] 

Course Details