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Tools POlicy and procedure

Why use tools?

Learning to safely use appropriate tools are an important part of a child’s development. They enable a child to fashion instruments for both practical usefulness and pleasure,  building confidence in the knowledge that their creativity is worthwhile.


Tools connect the learner with the natural materials that they are using. A deep understanding of the properties and values of these materials can form. Curiosity, inquiry, exploration can develop when finding the best materials and tools for a job. The physical side of tool use develops coordination, dexterity and ingenuity and the safety side of tool use helps learners to understand risk and the steps needed in order to remain safe. 

What tools do we use at Forest School? 

Only Level 3 Qualified Forest School Leaders will train children to use tools and will be responsible for the care and safety of all individuals when using tools, including implementing the safe tool use policy and procedure below.


At Wildlings, we will encourage the use of the following tools:

  • potato peelers;

  • manual hand drill;

  • small hacksaws;

  • bowsaws;

  • loppers:

  • bilhook and wood splitting tool:

  • whittling knives.

Safety Procedure

There are risks associated with using tools. Most of the risks associated with tools are high, therefore we have the following safety measures in place: 

  • Individual tools will be introduced to children in a structured way, clearly showing how to use each tool safely. using demonstrations and tools talks. 

  • Tools will only be introduced to children when the Leader assesses that the children are ready.

  • Children will be supervised by an adult at all times when using tools.

  • A safe place will be designated for tool use whenever tools are introduced during a session. This space will be at least two arms width and a tool length in diameter and clearly signed. 

  • Whittling knives will only be introduced to children who are at least 6 years old. 

  • Tools will be maintained (checked, cleaned, sharpened and oiled) by the Forest School leaders, repaired and replaced as needed. 

  • All tools are returned to the designated tool storage after use.

  • Safety gloves are to be worn when using any type of tool with a blade as per the tool talks procedure for each particular tool. .

Residual Risks

Likelihood Low with control measures in place and by following the tools safety procedures. 


DATE: 14th September 2019

AUTHOR: Claire Seabrook


REVIEW: 14th September 2020

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