Visitors to the Common may have noticed the development of a new outdoor ‘classroom’ close to Christ Church School. Created by Parish Ranger, Andy Goddard, this natural learning space provides a base for Forest School where Andy has shared his extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna, and history of the Common with Christ Church Nursery, Reception and Year 1 classes next door.
“I’ve been working with Andy and my colleague, Tamla Young to create dynamic and interesting outdoor sessions about the natural world on our doorstep.” explains teacher Emma Allaway, who completed her Forest School training last year. “Through the experience children discover more about the environment so that as adults they respect the natural world, and see themselves as stewards of planet Earth.”
Children go out in all weathers, dressed appropriately.
They have already identified frogs, newts, toads, worms, beetles, centipedes, woodlice, frogspawn and numerous birds; they’ve climbed trees, built dens, stomped in muddy puddles, rolled down hills, created a human sized bird’s nest, and even used tools to create necklaces, woodland people, musical instruments and boats!
“We are constantly encouraging them to think of new experiences for their Forest Schooling. We hope to develop the programme with additional resources and tools, include more year groups and eventually invite other local schools,” adds Emma.
In the meantime, Christ Church School pupils are thoroughly enjoying their Forest School journey with the support of Andy and Chorleywood Parish Council.