RUNCORN pupils will now benefit from the phenomenon that is forest school.

St Augustine’s Catholic Primary are the latest school to join the craze that is becoming a fundamental part of curriculum for young pupils.

The forest school is based on the extensive school grounds based on Conwy Court.

It comprises of an adventure centre, meadow, woodland area, and an allotment for growing fruit and vegetables in addition to a treehouse and bridge. 

Earlier this month, teacher, Jessica Jones, became the school’s first fully qualified forest school facilitator following the completion of a Level 3 qualification.

Already, she has made significant improvements to the provision, including the rebuild of a fire pit where children will learn about lighting fires and cooking.

“The children at St Augustine's thoroughly enjoy their forest school sessions and we have already identified a number of benefits, including the mental wellbeing of those pupils who are engaged with it,” Jessica said.

“It is great that we can now facilitate more broadly with myself in leading the sessions and using them to further enrich the school ethos.”

The Scandinavian education-inspired experience improves holistic development, health and fitness, communication skills, resilience, and individuality.

Pupils will take part in a wide range of sessions based on their own needs and interests.

Activities available will include hunting for minibeasts, crafting necklaces and crowns, shelter building, climbing, and much more. 

Whilst the learning experience will be enjoyed by groups of pupils across the whole school, those who are vulnerable will be given further support within the provision.

“What is better than learning life skills through cooking on an open fire; learning to count but finding bluebells; or even developing our core strength by climbing a tree to support our handwriting. The opportunities are endless, and I am just as excited as the children to begin the sessions,” Jessica added.

Interim headteacher of the school John Marciniak said both and staff and pupils are ‘thrilled’ to be delivering and experiencing outdoor learning. “It is important that we expand their education and take learning outside the classroom, providing a sense of freedom and community.

“The values shared during forest school are part of a thread that runs through the heart of our curriculum, and we appreciate how well the children respond to learning in this way. 

“As we now have Jessica as our first fully qualified facilitator, we can implement forest school deeper into school life and we’re looking forward to growing our ideas to provide even more unique opportunities for pupils in Runcorn.”