A new Forest School has been launched at Everton Park Nature Garden.
Four schools – Our Lady Immaculate, Beacon C of E, St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Juniors and Blueberry Park Primary – are taking part as part of a drive to increase outdoor learning.
Organised by Lancashire Wildlife Trust with support from local community groups such as Friends of Everton Park, Liverpool City Council and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Everton Park Nature Garden is a stunning and biologically diverse haven for wildlife, and is the perfect spot for Forest School activities, especially with the newly installed outdoor classroom facilities on site.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Forest School project has been overwhelmingly successful in Manchester, reaching 1,325 children, training up 33 teachers to Level Three Forest School practitioners, delivering over 600 individual sessions, and working across 12 different schools in just under three years, all thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The Trust’s expansion into Liverpool City, utilises green spaces across both Everton Park Nature Garden and Springfield Park as Forest School sites. This links in nicely with the Council’s recent announcement that they will be investing £1.5 million into new and improved play areas across the city. The Trust hopes to reach a further 480 children across Liverpool by the end of 2017.
Liverpool Forest School Project Officer, Louise Gaffing, said: “It has been a real eye opener to see how quickly the pupils have made themselves feel at home in our woodland areas. Some of them only ever go outside to the school playground and school fields and have been loving discovering mud and minibeasts.
“School staff have selected carefully so that children who don’t usually talk to each other have been playing together, making dens cooperatively and problem solving both individually and in groups.”
Senior Forest School Project Officer, Victoria McDermott said: “We’ve already established some great partnerships with schools, Everton Park Nature Garden and the Friends of Group, we’re excited to see where the project takes us.
“Our Forest school projects have such a fantastic impact on those we work with. We hope to inspire the children and teachers to build a close bond with the natural environment on their doorstep.”
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for schools, Cllr Nick Small, said: “This is a great scheme which will encourage learning outdoors, feed the imagination of our young people and make the most of the city’s natural environment.”