SHEFFIELD’S Westbourne School has received a top national award for its work on bringing wildlife into everyday education.
The independent school has been awarded the Wildlife Trust’s Wild School Award in recognition of its work on the Forest School provision at its Broomhill site.
Forest School is a national innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning, encouraging and inspiring children of all ages through positive outdoor experiences.
By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment each participant has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound emotional and social skills.
And by utilising the whole leafy campus in the centre of Broomhill, Westbourne has ensured that its Forest School provision continues to grow, allowing more children to access new skills at the same time as developing teamwork, perseverance and resilience.
Outdoor lessons are based in The Dell, a beautiful secret wooded garden that can be used for everything from science classes to drama – a stimulating location that encourages the imagination at any time of the year.
The Wild School Award is designed to help primary schools make nature a part of every child’s school time, through completing wildlife-based activities inside and outside the classroom.
“It is brilliant to have received this award, which I see as recognising the work the whole school has done in nurturing and encouraging the Forest School project and making it an essential part of the Westbourne learning experience,” said teacher Gavin Magenty, who has led on the project.
“We have proved very clearly that you don’t need to be a wildlife expert or have large school grounds to make this scheme a success.
“Wildlife can be enjoyed by everyone, even in the heart of a busy community like Broomhill.”