Back to Forest School

Wednesday 13th September 2017

With the start of the school term, children all over the UK are facing new beginnings. Whether it’s a new school or nursery, a new class or new teachers. It can be a daunting time. Communications Officer, Emma Ackerley tells us how Forest School sessions can help.

Many children that attend our Forest School sessions across Liverpool and Manchester struggle interacting with others, often having English as their second language and therefore lacking the confidence to speak and answer questions in class. Regular sessions of Forest School not only help to instil a respect and appreciation for wildlife, but also help to improve their language and communication skills. Ensuring all children are ‘school ready’, with the same capabilities to learn and equal access to opportunities.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been running Forest Schools since 2015, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Since then, we have reached 1800 children, delivered over 800 Forest School sessions, worked with 16 schools and trained nearly 50 teachers up to Level 3 Forest School Practitioners (and counting).

 

Our Forest School project focuses on reconnecting urban children back with nature, wildlife and the outdoors over a six-week period. The children learn about the rules of forest school, risk assessing, bush craft activities, tool use, shelter building and how to play outside, experiencing the world as they see it.
Mrs Bowcock from Our Lady Immaculate Primary School in Everton said “Two of the children have both been chosen for the forest school because in class their very introverted, very bright boys, but introverted, and they’ll be the last people to speak. As soon as we left the playground today, they have not stopped talking to each other and with others in the group. They’re not even in the same class.


“One of the boys is EAL (English as an additional language) as well, so English isn’t his first language, so his confidence needs to build with regards to his language. One of the boys also has a hearing impairment, which is another reason he’s quite introverted in class, but he’s working really hard on it.


“We’ve chosen this group of children as a whole, because we think they’ll get the most out of forest school. I can’t wait to see how it helps them, I can already see a difference in them this morning.


“I used to run a version of the forest school sessions as I’ve partly trained up before, but it was generally just camp fires with parents. However now with Lancashire Wildlife Trust training us up to LV3 we’ll be able to do everything properly. We’re all really excited and thankful”

 

All of our Forest School work is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. To date, players have raised over 221 million for good causes, as 31% of the lottery is put towards charitable funds and good causes like Lancashire Wildlife Trust.


If you’d like to find out any further information about Forest School please contact Emma Ackerley on eackerley@lancswt.org.uk or visit http://lancswt.org.uk/forest-schools.