Forest School: the year of living dangerously
As the first year of the Forest School project draws to a close, it's a chance to reflect on what's been achieved.
Here are my Top 5 Highlights from the past twelve months:
1. Simply acknowledging the privilege it is to work outdoors with inspirational young people, made possible by the support, commitment and enthusiasm of the Paddox Primary leadership and the amazing energy of the FOPS fundraisers and everyone who has contributed to the cause.
2. Witnessing the development of Mrs Huggett, from more-than-able assistant to fully-fledged Level 3 Practitioner. We'll start next term with three qualified Forest School Leaders on staff, which is a healthy place to be with the school set to grow over the coming decade.
3. The way that, with the help of Paddox parents Mr Graber and Mr Melia, together with Murray Hayden at Coombe Country Park and the Rugby Wildlife volunteers at Ashlawn Cutting, we've been able to transform a corner of a playing field into something approaching a woodland learning environment.
4. Having the scope to improvise when the weather demanded it, or a child suggested something worth going off-track to explore because it was a great idea for everyone; to slow down and notice the smallest beetle or to help answer a question fully; to watch self-esteem grow and risk-taking build confidence.
There's so much to look forward to next year: with the YURT project funding from Aviva we've the opportunity to develop our outdoor learning space, the chance to build on this year's firm foundation, and the scope to pursue opportunities with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to support conservation in our local area.
For more photographs of this year's activities, be sure to read the Forest School newsletters page. There's one for each year group.
Have a wonderful, adventure-filled summer!