CHILDREN at an East Staffordshire school have been getting their hands dirty as part of an initiative to encourage an interest in learning about garden wildlife.
Pupils at Edge Hill Primary School in Sycamore Road, Stapenhill, have been taking turns to work outdoors in the Forest School, which was set up in September. Lessons held outside are also incorporated into the school’s curriculum. Each year group takes turns to complete different activities which are led by the school’s two forest school practitioners, Mark Lloyd and Sally Hall.
Mark told the Mail: “We’re full-time staff at the school and lead all the activities. We only set up the forest school in September.
“We had two weeks to clear the area before we had our first class and since then the children have loved every minute. Some of them don’t work as well as others in a classroom environment. The forest school allows them to step up and take an interest in what they’re doing, while those more suited to being in the classroom also get to experience something different.”
Both Mark and Sally have led a number of other activities since the Forest School was incorporated into the curriculum, including making African masks. They also plan to mark the anniversary of the First World War by turning the playing field into a battle field with pupils taking part in re-enactments. During the current project, the children have found two different species of newt as well as a variety of other ‘minibeasts’ which they have then been identifying and learning about in the classroom.
Maisey Alcott, who was the first year four pupil to find a newt said: “At first I thought it was a tadpole. When I found it I went over and told my friends, it was nice to be the first person in the class to find something in the pond.”