Data Protection Policy
The aim of this Policy is to ensure the rights of each child and the rights of staff, volunteers and parents to confidentiality of personal information are protected and that all staff and volunteers understand their respective roles in relation to confidentiality and data protection as set forth in the Data Protection Act of 1998. All who attend Small Acres have the right to expect their personal information to be held securely, treated with confidentiality and with respect at all times. Information is only made available on a need to know basis.
Safer Recruiting Practices
Small Acres practises safer recruiting in checking the suitability of all staff and volunteers who work with children. We carry out DBS (formerly known as CRB) checks on all those employed by or acting in a voluntary capacity for Small Acres School and Forest School as well as board members and volunteers from other agencies who are in contact with children in our programs. All staff have enhanced DBS checks. A copy of our Child Protection Policy is available upon request. Our staffing ratios are at least one adult for every seven children.
Should an emergency occur, every effort will be made to contact parents quickly. We carry all participants’ emergency contact details with us at all times. Any emergency contact should be both by text and by phone. Parents who have an emergency while the group is in session please first text, messages of an urgent nature will be responded to immediately.
At least one appropriately trained first aider will be with each group. A fully stocked first aid kit will accompany the group. Copies of first aid certificates available upon request.
At Small Acres we practice Non Violent Communication (NVC) and we guide children in the use of this form of communication. All issues among children are first dealt with in a meeting where each person involved has a chance to speak. We find that often allowing children to have a voice and to feel heard will resolve the issue. Bullying can take many forms and occur at any age. Verbal and psychological bullying can be just as harmful as physical violence. No form of bullying, including cyber bullying will be tolerated at Small Acres School.
All complaints will be taken seriously. Please click here to view in full.
We ask that children arrive by or after 9 am. If you arrive before 9am, you must remain with your child until 9am. We recognise that many families travel far to come to Small Acres, and we are very aware of the transport issues in London. We ask that you arrive before the start of the 10am meeting. Arriving between 9 and 9:20 gives children a chance to settle in before the meeting.
Pick up is by 3pm. Early pick up can be pre-arranged with a staff member before hand. The school can be out in a different part of the park until 2:45 and all participants need to help prepare the space for the opening of the adventure playground to the public after 3pm, so we ask that you not routinely take your child home early as everyone’s participation really helps. We must leave the playground at 3pm.
Lunches and snacks
Children bring their own food each day. Please supply non-refrigerated lunches and snacks low in sugar and a water bottle. Children eat when they are hungry and we do all take time for lunch at 12:15.
Healthy Food Policy
Drinks: We recommend that children bring plenty of water. Fruit juice without added sugar is also encouraged. During Forest School sessions, we will use the storm kettle to boil water for herbal teas, including those we make ourselves from nettles and elderflowers. We request that children do not bring fizzy drinks or other sugary drinks.
Snacks: Snacks should include foods that are not overly processed or high in added sugar.
Lunch: Being outdoors so much of the day, particularly in cold weather takes a lot of energy. A large lunch is recommended and foods which do not require refrigeration are best. A small icepack included in the lunchbox or bag is useful.
Allergies: Should a child with food allergies be in the group, some food restrictions (especially nuts) may be necessary. A letter will be sent home and children will be reminded if restrictions are needed.
Campfire Cooking: We will cook bread, toast marshmallows, drink hot chocolate and cook some camp food during our forest school sessions. This food, much of which is not very nutritious, will be a supplement to the healthy, nutritious food brought as a packed lunch and is not meant to replace the healthy snacks and lunch brought from home.
Parent Participant Training
We encourage parental involvement in Small Acres, however we request that you follow our guidance regarding your direct involvement in our programme. Parent Participant Training is a necessary step if you wish to become directly involved in the day-to-day activities of the school and wish to remain on the premises after the Morning Meeting.
We support a healthy attachment between parents or guardians and their children and we are available to support this. All volunteer parents must first attend Parent Participant workshops and have valid enhanced DBS.
Parent Participant workshops are available to parents following the first year of enrolment at Small Acres. Communication workshops will be offered and are open to all current parents free of charge.
It is a goal of Small Acres to nurture a strong link between home and school, and establish a strong and caring community. With that in mind, it is always possible to arrange for grandparents, family friends visiting and other people in your child’s life to come to Small Acres to spend time with your child, and of course, to come yourself. We ask that you let us know in advance and that you are aware of the needs of the group. Please do not bring people to the school to learn about our program. If they are curious about our school, they can attend an information session.
There is no 'time-out', 'naughty-step' or any other discipline method - at Small Acres we talk problems through to find a solution that is fair for everyone.