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Ten secondary school teachers in Gwent were given a taste of an outdoor learning method which is proving popular with younger children.
The concept of Forest School, which uses woodlands to stimulate children’s learning beyond the confines of the classroom, has spread through primary schools all over Wales.
But now Forestry Commission Wales wants to show teachers of older children how this style of education can engage students who don’t always connect with the traditional classroom style.
The Forest School taster day was run by FC Wales Woodlands for Learning (WfL) team staff at Bassaleg High School.
Teachers spent the day trying out some typical Forest School tasks, such as making a xylophone, collecting natural objects to create a story and building rope bridges. Pupils aged 12 to 13 also showed them how to safely light and cook over a fire and how to toast bread on a stick.
Cathy Velmans of the WfL team said, “Woodlands provide a stimulating outdoor learning environment for everyone.
“We want to raise awareness of how Forest School can benefit secondary school pupils in the same way as it does younger children, especially those who don’t normally achieve in a classroom environment.
“Hopefully, some of the teachers who attended the taster day will carry on to do the Level 3 Forest School Leader training course.”
A two-day conference to celebrate 10 years of Forest School in Wales will take place in St Mellons, Cardiff on 27 and 28 October.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Forestry Commission Wales is the government department responsible for forestry policy and looks after the 126,000 hectares (309,000 acres) of public forests owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland-based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults, regular opportunities to achieve, and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning
experiences in a local woodland environment. For more info go to http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/forestry.nsf/byunique/infd-77ldzd
For more information about the 10 Years of Forest School in Wales celebration conference go to http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-86wjhw
For more information on Forest School in Gwent, contact Cathy Velmans on 01873 790001, mobile 07786 027675, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Woodlands for Learning contact Sue Williams on 01352 910411 mobile 07789 923830 email@example.com
Media enquiries to Forestry Commission Wales Information Officer Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922.