Forest Schools in Manchester
Working with a growing cluster of primary schools around Moston and Blackley
Forest Schools involve kids in outdoor learning and structured play, using environmental resources to develop teamwork, confidence and healthy activity. Our vision is for a growing local movement of primary schools passionate about outdoor learning as an integral part of the curriculum. We do that by spending one year supporting a school, inspiring children and staff alike, and putting in place the facilities, training, and enthusiasm to make Forest Schools a core part of what the school offers children.
Over 1000 children went through a 6 week Forest Schools programme during 2015-16 and thousands of children will share that experience in the next few years thanks to this capacity building. We have so far been working with Broadhurst Primary, Crab Lane Community Primary, Bowker Vale Primary, St Mary's C of E Primary, St Dunstan's Primary, Lily Lane Primary, St Willibrord's Primary, Christ the King Primary and Moston Fields Primary.
"All the children who have had the experience, from Year 1 to Year 5, have thoroughly loved it. They showed interest and enthusiasm and really looked forward to their sessions” enthused Corryn Nicholson, teacher at 2015 partner school Bowker Vale Primary. “It has been wonderful to see the impact Forest School can have on very different types of children. Children who are academically very able have valued the sessions in the same way as children who sometimes struggle in certain subjects.”
Moston Fairway, Broadhurst Park & Clayton Vale
In 2015 we began our Forest Schools supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery by establishing a cluster of primary schools centred on our wonderful Moston Fairway nature reserve. Broadhurst Primary School are using a special area of the reserve itself, whilst three further schools have benefited from newly installed outdoor classrooms within their own grounds. This short video gives a fantastic flavour of the first year of this project.
In 2016 we worked with Manchester City Council to establish outdoor learning areas for Forest Schools on Broadhurst Clough and Clayton Vale. This is part of the Council’s Green Infrastructure strategy that seeks to engage Mancunians with their municipal green spaces. We continued to support the schools that joined us in 2015 and took on another four schools in the area. Watch the video below to find out more.
Changing children's lives
Bailey is just one of the schoolchildren in Manchester who have taken part. Bailey's dad helped with the sessions so shared in his son's journey discovering the wildlife on his doorstep, both on Broadhurst Clough at Forest Schools and in their garden where Bailey was able to take home and extend his learning and fun. “I like being outdoors with the nature and the worms and it makes me happy” enthused Bailey. “Forest Schools is fun and you get to do things like you've never done before”.
Every child has their own story of discovering nature, feeling free and confident, and loving their Forest Schools experience. Discover Bailey's story and imagine how your children could benefit from our work in this short video.
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery
“This is what it’s all about, opening up our natural world to young enthusiasm and inspiring kids to love learning and being outdoors”.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working with players of People’s Postcode Lottery since March 2015 to bring Forest Schools outdoor education to inner city schoolchildren. People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery that emphasises supporting good causes in the heart of players’ communities, fitting perfectly with The Wildlife Trusts’ emphasis on protecting wildlife where our members live.
Read more about People’s Postcode Lottery and the ways in which players support The Wildlife Trusts and other good causes on the dedicated section of our website here.
National ambassador for the project, TV naturalist and Wildlife Trusts vice-president Nick Baker, declared “the enthusiasm, sense of momentum, and community spirit has been overwhelming” when he visited our Forest Schools supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery at Moston Fairway nature reserve in 2015.
Echoing this and further praise across the city, Central Manchester MP Lucy Powell enthused “I was really pleased to see how successful the project has been… it's great that the local communities are now able to engage with nature”.
Forest Schools across our region
The education team at The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been pioneering the Forest School movement in the North West for a number of years. We offer Forest Schools sessions to visiting groups and training for teachers at our Brockholes Nature Reserve, just off Junction 31 of the M6 outside Preston, and at our Bolton Environmental Resource Centre in Greater Manchester. Forest School programmes and training are designed and delivered by our experienced and accredited team.
School grounds service
If you would like Forest Schools outdoor learning areas like these in your school, take a look at the school grounds service we offer and get in touch for a consultation and quote.
Find out more
For more information about our Forest Schools in Manchester supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery please email Vicki in our education team on email@example.com.
Explore the twin project in Liverpool, which is beginning now in 2017, here.
Discover the Trust education team's wider Forest Schools sessions and training offer here.
Learn about People's Postcode Lottery and the amazing support players provide to The Wildlife Trust on the dedicated section of our website here.