Well-being and learning at the heart of village forest school revamp
Plans to revamp a village school's popular outdoor area will promote well-being and learning.
Parents of pupils at All Saints Academy in Stoke Ferry are teaming up to raise funds for the forest school as well as volunteering to improve the overgrown space.
Among the new additions to the forest school will be a bridge, bird feeders, frogs for the pond, a camp fire, a reading area, hammocks, herbs, covered willows as well as ensuring overgrown stinging nettles are cleared.
All Saints teacher Harriet Hurrell said: "It is to enhance the learning possibilities in a different environment and to look out for the individual needs of all of our pupils. Some learn better in classrooms and some prefer to learn outdoors.
"It is part of an inclusive class ethos in which different levels can progress and excel. We are also very mindful of well-being.
"If you mention the forest school they all go 'Yaaaay'. The pupils love it and they said they want it to be turned into a picnic area. It is like an extra home for them to feel safe so it is important to nurture that area."
The Jupiter Class teacher added that the school had been following government advise to promote more outdoor learning, and there has been a positive response from parents willing to help out.
One parent, who is also a governor at the school, Mark Anthony said: "The school does not have any staff like ground-keepers who can look after it and it has become very overgrown.
"The pond needed sorting out and it needs a lot of work to bring it up to a usable standard."
Mr Anthony said the ongoing summer project should be completed over the next few weeks.
He added: "All the teachers and children use the area for all types of lessons. This is an amazing facility which promotes an interest in the environment and great mental wellness."
The forest school has existed at the school for more than 10 years, and it has been revamped in the past. The pupils can learn practical skills with rope and wood, as well as learning about life cycles for example.
A fundraising page has been set up with more than £500 of the £1,000 target being raised so far. If you would like to donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/forest-school-makeover