Grow Wellbeing, a team of forest school leaders, horticulturists, educators and more, has received additional funding to outreach their services so more disadvantaged school children in Liverpool can experience outdoor learning opportunities.
The main aim of Grow Wellbeing is to connect the most disadvantaged children from diverse backgrounds with forest activities, nature studies and eco-therapy in woodlands, green spaces and community gardens.
Extra funding from a new initiative called Kindred in the Liverpool City Region will mean that Grow Wellbeing will be able to offer its services to more children at a time where Natural England research shows that six in ten children have spent less time outdoors as a result of the pandemic.
Duane Chong, programme director at Grow Wellbeing, said: “Schools and teachers can get help to develop their outdoor learning and forest school provision by contacting organisations like ours, who have qualified and experienced forest school leaders.
“Schools can then consider how they can embed outdoor learning long term through incorporation in planning documents, as well as developing their staff team.
“Teachers may also find it helpful to speak to the local authority eco schools officer or school improvement team.”
You can watch an example of what to expect below:
Typical activities on offer from Grow Wellbeing’s Forest School, include nature art activities, bug hunting and identifying leaves, trees, birds and insects.
Chong added: “Forest school provides children with opportunities to engage in activities which may otherwise be known as risky, yet they learn valuable life skills about how to use tools for whittling, sawing and drilling, as well as learning about fire and building fires safely.
“There are lots of opportunities for teamwork in forest school including working together to build dens and creating nature artworks. True ‘forest school’ isn’t just a one-off though, children thrive at forest school when they engage in regular weekly sessions over a term or even longer, developing a familiarity with the natural environment, developing positive relationships with the adults and their peers.
“Through forest school, children’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development is enhanced, improving their confidence, resilience and self-esteem.”
You can find more information about the project by clicking here