Local primary school sees dramatic difference in pupils thanks to Forest School

Since the start of September, a group of children and teachers from Hazel Community Primary School have been visiting Knighton Park in Leicester to attend Wild Forest School, run by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. Following the weekly sessions, teachers reported improved behaviour, raised attendance and better social interaction amongst formerly isolated pupils.

The Forest School sessions, which are run by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, has been of enormous benefit to the pupils at Hazel Community Primary School as teaching assistant Adam Cleaver confirms: “We are an inner city school in a deprived area with 90% of pupils having English as their second language. Many of the children we take to Forest School are considered vulnerable and do not have access to these opportunities in their home life.

“I would definitely recommend Forest School to other schools in the area without any reservations, it has been brilliant and the leader Sophie is so enthusiastic – she is professional, knowledgeable, and really believes in what she’s doing. All of the children absolutely love it; two girls who were new to the school struggled to make friends and were isolated during playtimes, but quite amazingly they have become best friends through the sessions. They spend all of their school time together – it’s a real success story. Plus, three children with attendance issues all have considerably raised their attendance, one from 47% to 63% in just eight weeks.”

Also enthusiastic about Forest School, eight year old Faye, said: “At Forest School we get to be free and be adventurous, and I always feel happy afterwards. In school we’re taught topics like maths, but at Forest School we get to learn about nature. Being outside is sometimes cold, but it’s so much fun and the leader Sophie always helps us if we’re stuck on something.”

Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust Forest School provides opportunities for children to experience new challenges, take risks, develop resilience and independence, and be creative, all whilst developing a sense of wonder about the natural world.

For more information about Forest School run by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust visit, www.wildforestschool.org.uk.

For the latest news from Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust visit, www.lrwt.org.uk.