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Cooks Spinney pupils take part in Forest Friday

Cooks Spinney Primary Academy / Fri 4th Dec 2020 at 12:23pm

YOUNG people are getting outside to learn life skills, to improve their mental health and to feel empathy for nature.

Each week, pupils at Cooks Spinney Primary Academy take part in Forest Friday to learn outdoors, while building their independence and confidence.

Some of the activities pupils have taken part in in the forest include – 

  • cooking s’mores, bread rolls, banana boats and baked apples over their own fires built from scratch
  • den building
  • scavenger hunts
  • tree climbing
  • animal tracking activities
  • low ropes course
  • sensory walks, including trust walks and communication skills walks
  • nature art, including self-portraits, animal habitat creations, animal portrait art, leaf printing and mini beast pebbles
  • forestry craft and maintenance, including building a bug hotel, clearing invader plants, making bird feeders and maintaining them, maintaining a hedgehog hide and making suet bird balls
  • litter picking
  • creating and maintaining a garden at the school entrance, including planting flowers and weeding

The work is also a way of improving children’s physical fitness and improving their mood and sleep.

Jen Pearce, deputy head, said: “In the sessions, children learn to assess, appreciate and take risks, making sensible, informed decisions about how to tackle the activities and experiences they encounter. 

“We started with Year 6 to help to develop their leadership and communication skills, but every year group will have an opportunity throughout the year to participate in outdoor learning and to develop their life skills.

“Children feel at peace and at ease in our forest; something we have used and capitalised on during these uncertain and stressful times since returning to school. 

“The growth in confidence, communication and leadership skills has been beautiful to see.”

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