What is the need for your project in the community? How will your project improve local life?
Brixham C of E Primary School has a Forest School site off the main school footprint, and so this land can be used out of the school term i.e. during school holidays and outside of the normal school hours. We are wheelchair accessible and support the local Greater Horseshoe Bat Trust and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. Berry Head, which is a SSSI and a local beauty spot, is within a 5 minute walk.
On site we have two structures, the first being a roundhouse (the structure which needs repair), a rustic wooden building providing shelter and a focus for activities, Within the roundhouse there is a fire site and basic seating for a class of children. This is where we cook, eat our lunch and discuss our days experiences as a whole group. The second structure is a compost toilet which everyone uses. We have fresh water available but no gas for electricity on site.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults, regular opportunities to achieve, and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.
As well as teaching associated skills, Forest school offers the opportunity to help deliver and complement aspects of the school curriculum through a medium of outdoor play and discovery, providing a variety of opportunities for learning, particularly for those who do not do as well in the school classroom, complementing our school vision statement. Because it is viewed as a process, with regular vists, tasks of increasing complexity can be mastered and associated social skills learned.
Forest School also:
· Builds and develops group work and co-operation skills
· Increase children’s confidence, initiative, and independence
· Provide a supportive learning environment to suit an individual’s needs and learning styles
· Increase practical and planning skills
· Increase an individuals appreciation and knowledge of the natural world
· The freedom to explore using multiple senses
· Allow children to learn while having fun!
Our children have regular sessions at Forest School, and the benefit they receive is unquestionable.
Thank you for visiting our page, and we hope you can help us achieve our project aim.
What support do you have from the local community for your project?
We have the backing of all our parents and school children, as well as support from the Vigilance Heritage Sailing Trust and local adventure centres, such as Grenville House.
Who will benefit from your project?
All the children within our school and other voluntary organisations, i.e. PTSD counselling groups and local children charities. We will be able to offer the land to other primary and secondary schools within Torbay, and offer the site to the Vigilance Sailing Trust group for their inner city deprived children sailing initiatives.
Tell us more about your project and how it will benefit your community if you are successful.
Forest School has been running at Brixham Church of England Primary School for approximately 10 years, with classes attending Forest School sessions every week. This means a minimum of 220 children a year access the site and outdoor environment. There is copious evidence that children benefit enormously from learning outdoors, and once the Round House is repaired the school plans to use the site for many years to come. The PTFA is raising funds to help with the outstanding project costs and the Exeter Diocese has been asked to contribute to the repairs. Our children really benefit from Forest School, not only connecting with the environment, but growing in confidence helping them with socialisation, self-awareness, resilience and mental well-being. Being able to offer this experience to all the schools in the area and other charitable organisations could make a huge difference to children and adults alike.
Please give a breakdown of the costs of your project.
The repairs to the Round House will cost £3200 plus VAT, and the Round House would then be expected to last for another 10 years at least.
We are also raising funds to buy a second composting toilet, new safeguarding regulations mean that boys and girls have to have separate designated toileting facilities on site. These cost in the region of £900.00, and we will be starting to fund-raise again after the Round House is repaired.