Bringing outdoor learning to inner-city Manchester
In 2015, we brought our Forest School project to a cluster of schools centred around our wonderful Moston Fairway nature reserve in Manchester, all support by players of People's Postcode Lottery. In 2016 we were able to take on another four schools, and now, players of People's Postcode Lottery have supported us to bring free Forest School sessions to a number of new educational settings in urban Manchester for a whole calendar year.
We want our Forest School project to leave a lasting legacy for these sites, which is why, during our time with them, we put in place the facilities, training and passion that is essential for working with the Forest School ethos even after we have left. We also train up to three members of staff from each educational facility as Level 3 Forest School Leaders, and our School Grounds team is available to develop outdoor classrooms so that each setting can continue outdoor learning.
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.Central Manchester MP
Bailey is just one of more than 2,650 children who have taken part in our project so far. Bailey's dad helped with the sessions so shared in his son's journey of discovering the wildlife on his doorstep, both at Forest School 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 School is fun and you get to do things like you've never done before”.
Riley is a child who struggles in a traditional classroom setting and has complex needs. Since attending Forest School, his family and school have seen positive changes in Riley's mood and performance at home and in class. Although our Forest School project has now moved on from working in his school, we have trained Riley's teachers as Forest School leaders, so Riley and his schoolmates can continue to enjoy their Forest School adventures for many years.
I think Forest School has really helped my kids in school, they’re more confident. We enjoy using the Forest School area and we actually made a hedgehog hotel recently as my daughter wanted to give something back to the forest.Parent
Supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery
Every year the Forest School project has gone from strength to strength. Thanks to the amazing support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, Forest School is having a transformative impact on teachers, children and communities in inner-city Manchester.
When he visited our Forest School at Moston Fairway nature reserve in 2015, Nick Baker - national ambassador for the Forest School project, TV naturalist and Wildlife Trusts vice-president - declared: “The enthusiasm, sense of momentum and community spirit has been overwhelming."