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Teachers learn how to use the Forest as a giant teaching resource

With teachers from 14 Forest of Dean schools in attendance, Foresters’ Forest hosted this special event, called ‘A Creative Curriculum in Our Diverse Forest’. The Forest High School, Cinderford was the venue on 16th January for this training afternoon. 

The purpose of the event was to launch Foresters’ Forest latest ‘Working with Schools’ free learning resource, namely the ‘Natural Heritage Scheme of Work’, carefully aligned with the KS1 and KS2 school curriculum. 

We focused on the fact that our Forest is a rich and fantastic educational resource for our schools. The afternoon wasn’t just classroom based. All attendees braved the pouring rain for a guided walk in the Forest woodland and wildlife reserve behind The Forest High School, to hear and experience the type of learning activities they can run with their pupils.

Foresters’ Forest Project Leaders, alongside partner organisations Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Forestry England, also explained how they can support schools with Forest based learning and talked about their involvement with the Foresters’ Forest National Lottery Heritage funded programme.

Simon Lusted, Head of Lydbrook School, highlighted that their recent Ofsted inspection report mentioned how this type of creative engagement with their local environment and community was praised. Ofsted noted the importance of a creative and stimulating curriculum and recognised that pupils at Lydbrook School experience a wide variety of activities and trips and that they develop a deep knowledge of their local community and the environment where they live. 

Teachers attending the event told us that they found the event very informative, that it provided some great ideas for them to make the most of the area and provided plenty of useful expert contacts for them to turn to for support preparing lessons and Forest visits. 

One teacher summed it up by saying: “It was a reminder of the wonderful learning experiences that are on our doorstep.”

Commenting on the event, Sue Middleton, Foresters’ Forest NLHF Programme Manager said:

“This latest ‘Working with Schools’ event has shown how much passion there is amongst our schools for the heritage of our Forest. I look forward to more schools in the area using all the free resources available through our programme, which include the History scheme of work and the Archaeology pack (created by Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service). We are now planning our next Schools Day, to take place this summer term. It will be an opportunity for Forest teachers and pupils to come along and share the wonderful work that they do learning about our Forest.”

To find out more about this take a look at our 'Working with Schools' project page.