Our Parent and Child Group is open to children aged 0-4 years old, together with their parents and carers. The Forest Walk sessions are most suited to young children who are walking by themselves. The walks are a wonderful chance to explore the woods and gardens around our school at a child's pace. The sessions flow with a regular pattern, resting on the three R's of Waldorf education - Rhythm, Repetition and Reverence. Starting at school, we will take a gentle walk along the forest track. We then gather round in the eco-garden for some seasonal songs, shared snack and warm tea. The gardens are full of wildlife and provide a beautiful backdrop for natural play, free movement and sensory exploration. Our walk will take us past the duck pond before we arrive at our Parent and Child Group garden. We finish with a seasonal story and goodbye songs.
Where and when to meet
On Fridays during term time, we will meet at 9.15am for a 9.30am start, finishing at around 11.30am.
- Address: Ringwood Waldorf School, Folly Farm Lane, Ashley, Ringwood, BH24 2NN.
- On arrival at school, please sign in at reception and make your way to the Parent and Child Group garden. If it is your first visit, there will be someone at reception to show you the way.
The group will run all year round, but if there is torrential rain or high winds we will spend the session indoors in our Parent and Child Group room.
Things you will need
We will be walking outdoors all year round, through golden sunshine, blustery wind or cleansing rain. For both adults and children, we recommend sturdy footwear for the uneven terrain, long sleeves and trousers/leggings, and clothing to be appropriate for the weather. In warm weather we recommend that delicate skin is covered and wide brimmed sunhats are worn. In cooler weather children will benefit from warm layers, waterproof trousers and jacket, gloves and a hat. We have some spare children's waterproofs available for you to borrow for the session - just ask!
At snack time, we will share oatcakes, fruit, and warm chamomile tea which are all provided. We ask that you bring a cup for you and your child as well as any extra drinking water or food that you may need. We recommend that you bring a flannel and water, or wipes, to clean hands before eating. Please let us know in advance of any allergies and dietary requirements.
The Forest Walk session costs £6 per week and we ask that this is booked and paid in half termly blocks, 5-7 weeks long. Regular attendance benefits everyone in the group and helps to develop friendships and a sense of community. Siblings under 1 year old are free, and over 1 year old are £4 per session. Payment can be made online and you will receive a text message or email with instructions.
Rhythm, Repetition and Reverence
The themes of rhythm, repetition and reverence are woven into the length and breadth of education in our school. These are especially important in the early years.
All of our Parent and Child Group sessions follow a strong daily and yearly rhythm. They reflect the changing months and seasonal festivals in a simple way. Songs, rhymes and stories will be repeated over several weeks, and we encourage adults to help maintain the rhythm of the group by joining in with ring time and other songs. Children at this age learn primarily through imitation and will be more likely to follow your example rather than your instructions.
There will be special gatherings outside of normal group times to celebrate certain festivals. These include our autumn Martinmas lantern walk, the Advent spiral ceremony before Christmas and a strawberry picnic in summer.
What we ask of Parents and Carers
Please remember that you are responsible for your own child at all times. You need to keep visual contact with them, even when enjoying the activities or deep conversation.
Please ensure that your mobile phones and digital devices are switched off and kept in bags or pockets for the duration of the session. The group leader will carry a mobile phone in case of emergency.
There are of course a few risks to be aware of when spending time outdoors with your children. There may be stinging insects, ticks, brambles, thistle and nettles around as well as poisonous plants, berries and fungi. We recommend keeping limbs covered with long clothing and sturdy shoes. Please be aware that there may be dog walkers on the Castleman Trailway, so keep an eye out and avoid any animal faeces on the path. Please make sure that your children don't eat anything they find and avoid putting their hands into their mouths. In the eco-garden there are areas of marshy ground and water, so please be extra vigilant in this area and stay close to your child.
At the end of the session, we recommend that you brush down clothing in case of ticks, and wash hands thoroughly. There are toilets and hand washing facilities in the Parent and Child Group.
We look forward to meeting you...
The Forest Walk session is a wonderful moment in the week for us all to slow down a little, connect with nature and enjoy time together as a big family. We look forward to meeting you, developing new friendships and discovering natural treasures all around us.
For more details about the Parent and Child Group, including our indoor sessions and Forest Walk session, please contact Syenna at