Upton Cross Primary School recently hosted and led a forest schools inset training course for teachers from across North and East Cornwall. The course was organised by ARENA the local sports partnership. Nicola Plummer from the school led a series of activities including forest bling, painting with natural dyes, fire making, cooking a range of foods on an open fire and using tools to create objects from wood and other natural materials.
Teachers and Teaching Assistants from the schools in attendance were able to try out the activities for themselves. They were able to gain a greater understanding of the principles of forest schools, what it involves, the benefits of running a forest schools programme, and how to set up a forest school on their own school site.
Upton Cross Primary School has a well -established forest school where children of all ages learn a variety of skills through the outdoors. All children receive a minimum of 6 sessions of forest schools within an academic year where they are engaged in learning a variety of skills through the outdoors.
Many schools across North and East Cornwall are now setting up forest schools on their sites to encourage children to learn about their environment, learn how to take risks and make choices in a secure and well managed outdoor classroom.
Michelle Roberts Development Manager for Arena stated ’There is currently a great demand in primary schools for support in setting up and delivering activities within an outdoor classroom. Increasingly teachers are concerned about the amount of time children are spending outdoors. This programme engages children in learning and motivates them to develop new skills which can be transferred through a variety of other curriculum areas in both the outdoor and indoor classroom. The aim of this course was to inspire teachers to set up outdoor programmes within their own schools. Arena would like to thank Upton Cross school for delivering an inspiring course which was enjoyed by all teachers who attended.’
Forest schools is a programme which is based on learning through the outdoors. There is great concern currently that we have a generation of’ indoor children’. Using places other than the classroom for teaching and learning, and in particular the outdoors, provides a multi-faceted resource in which children can manage risk and challenge for themselves. A well planned and inspirational outdoor curriculum, can help solve some of the problems faced by children, and creates happier, healthier pupils who can contribute more positively to their and other’s futures.
For more information on this programme and other programmes contact Michelle Roberts at Callington Community College.
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