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MP visits pioneering Runcorn 'Forest School'

27 October 2010

A pioneering scheme of outdoor lessons to re-connect local youngsters with nature has been visited by Halton MP Derek Twigg and Cllr Steff Nelson.


Woodland lessons

Pupils at Westfield Primary School receive regular lessons in the school's own woodlands, with the curriculum brought to life through 'Forest School' activities ranging from willow weaving to den building.


Integral part of learning

Head teacher Claire Dawes explains: "Forest School is now an integral part of our learning and really benefits all of the children. It challenges all abilities and provides the children with practical and physical challenges that help develop their problem-solving and team-working skills."


The Forest School concept of using woodlands for regular outdoor lessons is an idea which has been practiced in Scandinavia since the 1960s and is now becoming increasingly popular across the UK.


Trained leaders

Westfield Primary now has two trained Forest School leaders, Julie Metcalf and Steph O'Donnell, thanks to support from The Mersey Forest, the network of woodlands and green spaces being created across Merseyside and Cheshire.


Across The Mersey Forest area as a whole, over 1000 children have now benefited from Forest Schools, supported by Natural England through their Natural Connections project which aims to reconnect 1 million children to the outdoor environment through play.

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