We have been working with Whipton Barton Schools for nearly 1 year now and the programme has been a huge success. We run 2 weekly sessions for the juniors and the same for the infants. As well as this we run 1:1 intervention provision and reward sessions for the children who have put in the most work over the term.
We run from the school site which has a small piece of woodland at the end of the field, our projects with the children have been a huge success, some of the projects we have been involved with are as follows:
Den building with the students, they have built some amazing dens including a true bushcraft style scratch shelter with fallen leaves
Rope swings, the students have built two rope swings in the woods and these have proven a huge success for all
Bug hotels, the students have loved bug hunting and making bug hotels which remain as a lasting environmental legacy in the woods
Campfire cooking, we have made so much food with the students and they really love it, a big issue for a lot of the students is healthy eating and understanding where food comes from, we have cooked a lot of things with them including bread, hot cross buns, doughnuts, nettle crisps, apple fritters and we are currently building a pizza oven on site for the summer months.
Some successes with the students;
We have found that the forest school work has had a huge impact on the students. They were originally selected by the school because they were struggling to function in a classroom environment; so far we have had 5 students who we have been working with who have now gone back into full time classroom setting as a result of our intervention work.
We also have one student who has gone from the brink of exclusion and a severely reduced timetable who is now in full time classroom provision apart from the forest school sessions and some other intervention work, a great success and a huge turnaround for the student who is happier healthier and more in touch with their feelings and has the ability to recognise and cope with issues that previously would have led to serious behavioural problems.
WE also have two students who we have been able to take through a process of forest school intervention who are now able to control their emotions better and deal with anger issues more constructively; it is an amazing site to see students who were being physically kept apart at the start of the process who are able to talk about their issues together and apologise and resolve conflict without any intervention at all!
These successes have been huge throughout our involvement with the schools, but the thing that we find most gratifying is that these students now have a toolkit and a good chance to get the most out of their education. It is such a great feeling to have been able to help students reach their potential through the work we do in forest school intervention.