Pupils from Woodpecker Class at Forge Wood Primary School in Crawley got in touch with their inner Ray Mears the other week when they left behind the familiar environment of the classroom for a day of learning in Tilgate Forest.
The youngsters from the new school on Somerley Drive, which opened its doors for the first time in September this year, took part in a variety of hands-on outdoor activities, such a learning how to build camp fires, bird spotting and also discovering the plants and mushrooms around them in the woods, and learning which ones were safe and which less so.
“Getting out and about like this was a real novelty for some of them, and an absolute delight for all of them,” said Forge Wood’s deputy head Katharine Holman.
“It gave them a wonderful opportunity to try new things and learn lessons in a new and alternative way, which makes them so much more memorable. It was great fun but also hugely educationally valuable.”
Forge Wood, which is run by the GLF Schools multi-academy trust, welcomed its first pupils in September, and will add two new classes each year until it becomes an all-through primary school in 2022. The school is currently situated on a temporary site across the road from the brand new facilities into which it will move for the 2017-18 academic year.
“Being a brand new school, every day is a learning experience, but going out into the woods is one with a real difference,” added Mrs Holman.
“It gave them a chance to try new things and develop their independence. It was a day that they will remember for a very long time.”