Students from a local primary school enjoyed a taste of outdoor learning during an activity session hosted by early years and childcare students at Walsall College.
Forest School encouraged the seven and eight-year-olds from Chuckery Primary School to develop hands on practical skills in a woodland area.
Under the guidance of six college students, they tried their hand at den making, whittling, hammering and metal detecting. They also made hedgehogs out of pine cones, pendants from tree bark and butterfly shapes using recycled packaging fed through a die cutting machine.
The session was topped off with a campfire gathering where marshmallows were toasted while everyone drank hot chocolate.
Keri Birch, Lecturer and Forest School lead at the college added: “Our activities we designed to support the learning, well-being and confidence of the primary school children. It was lovely to seeing them immerse themselves in these surroundings.
Keri continued: “Our Forest School provision has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2021, adding value to our partnerships with local schools as well as enriching the skills and industry experience of our students who relish teaching children new things in this vibrant setting.”
Level 3 student, Imogen Cross was delighted to take the school pupils through the Forest School activities.
“The children loved being out of class and were enthusiastic about the activities arranged for them,” she said.
“Although Forest School is about having fun, it’s also designed to support children with the development of their gross motor skills. We made sure they did this in different ways such as showing them how upper body strength would help with use a hammer safely and effectively.
“It’s rewarding to know that experiences like these teach them skills they will take with them throughout their lives. Forest School also prepares them for joining Scout or Brownie clubs.”
Nick Bamber, Outdoor Learning Coordinator at Chuckery Primary School added: “It is lovely to make ties with Walsall College, and for our pupils to come to a Forest School session in a different setting. Outdoor learning is very important to us at Chuckery Primary School and it has been good to make links with other Forest School practitioners. Our children have really enjoyed taking part in the activities here today.”