Pupils from Lynn’s Churchill Park School have taken to the woods to help build their confidence, learn outdoor skills and to take on new challenges in their Forest School.
The scheme has been running in the school since September, and sees pupils going to Reffley Woods once a week to try their hand at using tools, building fires, making hunting bows and rope swings.
Jason Wright, Forest School leader, said: “Forest School provides the time and space for students to develop their personal skills. It helps them gain independence, self control, to learn to manage risks and to embrace new challenges.
“It also makes them grow in confidence and builds their self-esteem. They learn to work together and can then transfer the skills back into school and their everyday life.”
With plenty of good feedback already flooding in from the students, parents and teachers, Mr Wright is pleased to see the positive impact the scheme is having on the children.
He said: “For some of the students it’s a new experience. A challenge that they might not have tried before and it’s a great thing for them to do.
“They might be afraid, but this gives them the confidence by setting them up to achieve.”
He added: “Nothing is forced, this is pupil-led learning. The children have activities available to them and they get to choose what they want to try with encouragement from myself.”
The introduction of the scheme is part of the school’s renewed focus on the importance of outdoor activities, with Mr Wright leading the expansion of the enterprise and adventure curriculum.
He said: “I was keen to do more outdoor work with the children and I was lucky that this opportunity came up. It is just one small part of the outdoor work that we do, which includes school trips to outdoor areas, sailing and Duke of Edinburgh awards.
“At the moment we have years seven to 11 pupils visiting our Forest School, but we are looking at expanding it to the lower years as well. In future, I would to spread the scheme further out into the school and it would be nice to open it out to other schools to visit the Forest School.”
The Forest School has already received donations from the King’s Lynn Priory Rotary Club and the Earnest Cook Trust, but are always looking for more help to continue the work.
Mr Wright said: “Money runs out and equipment is always needed so any donations are always welcome. We could do with a Portaloo on site.”