Wood Learn Forest School was established on the Isle of Wight in February 2010. It was the first independent organisation of its type to operate on the Island.
Wood Learn Forest School work with schools, youth organisations and private individuals to deliver specially tailored forest or beach school programmes and 'bushcraft' activities for children and adults of all ages and abilities.
We also welcome companies seeking an alternative to 'run of the mill' team-building experiences.
Geoff Mason, APIOL, the company director and forest school leader, worked for many years within the trade union movement before moving into psychology and the delivery of offending behaviour programmes to prison inmates. He is now committed to bringing his love of the outdoors to as wide an audience as possible (and working in a forest really beats working behind bars!).
Geoff is an accredited practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning, a qualified Forest School Practitioner, has achieved the certificate in Bushcraft for Practitioners, was the first qualified Beach School Practitioner on the Isle of Wight (and now trains adults in this qualification), holds a certificate in outdoor activity first aid (with paediatrics) and has enhanced DBS clearance. He additionally holds the Award in Education and Training which means he can also teach adults in a formal learning environment.
We at WLFS have a great deal of experience working with SEND children and young people in our purpose-made accessible woodland area. Geoff can use Makaton, if required.
Luschka van Onselen joined Wood Learn as a parent-coordinator volunteer for home educated students, but soon began delivering outdoor arts sessions for Wood Learn. She is an accredited Arts Award assessor through Trinity College, has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and is also a qualified Beach School Practitioner.
After years as a Samaritans Listener and working as an educator in a mental health NHS trust, she now delivers Wild Therapy as a Wilderness Therapist (Level 3) in one-to-one or group sessions.
Luschka has enhanced DBS clearance.
Wood Learn Forest School Limited is a private company limited by guarantee, registered in England and covered by £10 million public liability insurance. We are serious professionals delivering a fun and engaging service.
Wood Learn is licensed by, and works with, the Forestry Commission and The Woodland Trust to use their forests on the beautiful Isle of Wight.
In April 2013 Wood Learn began working with The John Muir Trust to deliver the John Muir Award. This award is open to all people, regardless of age or ability, and encourages participants to discover, explore, conserve and share wild places. Wood Learn does not charge for participation in this award, the elements of the course can be built into any of our regular programmes.
The Royal Forestry Society launched a new course in 2020 and Wood Learn was quick to take up the challenge of introducing 4 to 14-year-olds to the wonders and joys of a potential career in the outdoors. The six-week course is an accessible programme for all abilities.
Art in Nature Arts Award courses consist of workshop sessions that engage ages 5 - 25 year olds in the early levels of the Arts Award qualification using a variety of art and craft styles and elements of nature to achieve the award. Each course is different as we utilise seasonally available resources.
We are also able to offer CREST Science Award sessions using the outdoors as our classroom.
Occasionally we run KS2 History workshops outdoors - including Stone Age, Iron Age and Vikings. We are happy to custom design a programme for you, just get in touch!
Geoff and Luschka also run forest adventure parties, beach 'school' parties and seasonal outdoor events, such as Samhain or Solstice evenings and Christmas wreath making or foraging workshops.