Children in Cherwell can enjoy going back to their roots and learning in forest school, with support from Sanctuary Housing.
Sanctuary has teamed up with the Warriner Partnership of schools for an initiative which is seeing pupils from ten local schools enjoying the natural surroundings of the Warriner School Farm.
Pupils are taking part in a range of exciting activities including den-building, outdoor cooking, mud kitchens and nature walks.
When are the forest school sessions taking place?
Taking place every week throughout the school year, the project is providing alternative education for children, whatever the weather. Children are being encouraged to respond to nature creatively, building on their team working skills and developing a sense of environmental and health awareness.
Kate Winstanley, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, commented: “We are delighted that our support has enabled children from the Warriner Partnership of schools to experience forest schooling.
“The children will be using their team working and problem solving skills within a natural environment, with their participation potentially resulting in life-long benefits.”
Which schools are involved in the Warriner Partnership?
The Warriner Partnership of schools consists of the nine local primaries that make up the catchment in the Bloxham area, as well as the Warriner Secondary School. Warriner School Farm is a 120-acre organic farm, purpose built as part of The Warriner School.
Sarah Reynolds, head teacher at Shenington Primary School, said: “Our children were delighted to take part in this project. It has enabled them to work with pupils from another school on a weekly basis with shared values about teamwork, cooperation and learning to show initiative.
“This was a great opportunity to benefit from the possibilities at the Warriner School Farm. And we look forward to working with the farm and Sanctuary in the future.”
Bev James, forest school leader at the Warriner School Farm, said: "We are thrilled to have been able to extend our forest school provision in partnership with Sanctuary Housing. Our first two groups have been a great success and it has been wonderful to see the children’s progress in developing their practical and problem-solving skills, self-confidence and independent thinking through adventurous play.”
This is the first time the schools have been able to take part in regular forest school activities, with the aim of using the farmland and woodland at Warriner School Farm. The funding from Sanctuary has meant the schools have been able to purchase additional equipment to enhance their play, including tarpaulin, ropes and hand drills.