Barming School Celebrates Its New Forest School Learning Area
After months of tireless work by Miss Rootes to gain funding for the primary school’s new Forest School, Barming Primary School is ready to unveil its new Forest School. Barming School is one of just a few local schools lucky to have grounds large enough for such an area- indeed, many children and parents didn’t even know this area was hidden behind trees at the bottom of the field! Generous sponsorship and donations, particularly from local companies Gallaghers and Bovis Homes have funded the area to be set up. Without these donations this would not have been possible.
Outdoor learning specialist Mark Burr runs the school’s designated Forest School. Mr Burr is a fully qualified Forest School Practitioner from local company Wild Times Woodland Adventures, which promotes ‘fun and learning in the woods’. Head teacher Mr Laker is very excited about this new development for the school. He said it was important for Barming School to involve and support local companies for this exciting new learning venture. Previously, students in Year R and Year 1 have had the opportunity to walk to the local woods for Forest School lessons, but this onsite development means outdoor learning will become more easily accessible for all pupils in the school instead of just the youngest.
Mr Laker says this is an invaluable learning experience for the children at Barming. Forest School is a safe environment where children learn outdoors in all weathers, experiencing changes in nature. Children take ownership and responsibility of their outdoor area. Forest School is widely recognised as an excellent opportunity for children to develop confidence through hands-on learning and staff and pupils at Barming are delighted to be a part of this educational venture.
Miss Rootes and Mr Laker are eager to continue this fantastic provision which has been established so far this year. If you or your company would like to sponsor Barming Primary School, please get in contact with the school.
Written by Mia Stockwell-Thompson, KM Barming Correspondant
Why FOREST SCHOOL?
There are multiple positive psychological and mental health improvements from nature based initiatives and green prescribing including but not limited to - improvements in depression, anxiety, stress, dementia and chronic illness. Those who regularly visit green spaces are also seen to be more motivated and gain additional benefits from those doing similar activities inside. The Public Health Outcomes Framework has identified the use of outdoor space for health benefits as a key performance indicator for public health.