Youngsters embrace the great outdoors

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St Giles Primary School students have been busy bees embracing outdoor learning and making it a part of every day school life.

The youngsters have been 
taking part in Derbyshire Wildlife Trust ‘Learning Landscapes’ sessions- working to improve the school grounds for learning, play and wildlife benefits.

The main aim of the trust’s work is ‘A living landscape rich in wildlife, valued by everyone in Derbyshire’.

Meanwhile, the parents and volunteers association have started work on grounds development over the Easter break on a woodland classroom, an allotment, a butterfly garden, orchard and the conservation garden.

The school now also has its own nature and bushcraft lessons which have been named ‘Forest Craft’. The sessions have been specially designed and compiled for St Giles School around the amazing grounds and local wildlife. Inspiration and expertise has been taken from The Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, The Scout Association and Chris Holland – an environmental educator, bushcraft teacher and forest school leader.

Every child at St Giles will take part in forest craft and take their learning outside. Taster sessions have already started but the full programme will start in September as part of the school’s timetable.

Teaching assistant Jacky Swift said: “The children are thoroughly enjoying being outside. While working with the year six building shelters I was amazed at their resourcefulness and creativity.

“They needed very little input and their finished shelters were extremely impressive.”

Headteacher Mrs Forster added: “With all the demands of the curriculum on both the staff and the pupils I think it’s imperative that we get outside and incorporate outdoor learning into our timetable.

“We’re very lucky at St Giles because of the supportive staff, governors, parents and outside agencies.”