The School has beaten stiff competition from entries in area ranging from Worcestershire in the south to Cumbria in the north.They will be using the £1000 prize to buy a tree house for their Forest School area – the start of what they hope will become a tree house village, giving pupils a different way to view their woodland.
The judges said: “It is an excellent example of how outdoor learning in a woodland environment can make a real and meaningful contribution to school life. It is inspiring to see that so much can be achieved right across the school with strong commitment from all the staff and the creative use of precious resources.”
Teacher Leanne Jarratt said: “We introduced Forest School into our curriculum four years ago. We saw it as a way we can develop the social and emotional aspects of children's learning, help them grow in confidence using the outdoor environment more. All children take part in Forest School sessions using tools, working with fire and learning through play. All the staff are very supportive of the programme and we are thrilled and very proud that the commitment and work the staff and children have shown to the project has been recognised.”
Silver Award Winner: Lutley Primary School in Halesowen
RFS Vice President Elect Sophie Churchill, left, and Forest School Leader Liz Cole celebrate by planting the oak tree with keen Forest School pupils Adam and Luke Bennett, Esther Ranford, Abigail Hackett and Jamie Wooldridge.
The judges said: “Lutley are making great use of every corner of their small site to provide positive hands on outdoor learning experiences. We were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and confidence of the children. They just got stuck in! They had real ownership of their site, were confident and happy and clearly very at home outdoors. Once again, the dedication of the staff must be applauded; these projects just wouldn’t happen without their passion and commitment.”
Lutley Forest School Leader Liz Cole said: “The pupils and staff of Lutley Primary School are delighted to receive this award. Our Forest School sessions are great fun whilst giving children the important opportunity to regularly visit and connect with the natural environment, learning and growing together. We always ensure children are involved in all our grounds projects, which has included the planting of around 250 trees, both at the school site and our local park. This participation helps us all really appreciate the impact we can have on our environment.”