Halton school children enjoy access to forest area

Staff and pupils at Halton School were delighted to be given a licence to access Rowborough Copse recently as part of their school curriculum.

The area of woodland is directly behind the school and has already been used for activities as diverse as setting up a Saxon settlement and staging Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. A Year 1 teacher has undergone rigorous training as a Forest School Leader and some of the youngest pupils now spend a morning a week in the wood, come rain or shine. A base camp has been set up using a circle of logs as seating and the children know the importance of respecting the site and staying within the marked boundaries.

Mrs Sue Scrimshaw, Head Teacher at the school, said: “The children have learnt a great deal about local plants and wildlife though rumours of a Gruffalo sighting are rife!  The impact on collaborative work is significant. The children’s enjoyment of outdoor learning is clearly visible;  ‘I love Forest School – it’s my best day of the week’ is a quote often heard from the school’s 5 year olds.”

Roger Morris, Estate Surveyor, from HQ DIO Ops Training South East, said: “Rowborough Copse  forms part of RAF Halton, and lies adjacent to the grounds of Halton Community Combined School and the MOD are delighted to grant a licence agreement to allow the school to have the use of this area of woodland for outdoor educational purposes.

It has taken some time to put this agreement in place as the MOD was anxious to ensure that the entire woodland area was in a safe condition before allowing access to the school.  Regular inspections of the area will take place to make sure that the outdoor classroom is safe for both children and staff.

The MOD now hopes that Rowborough Copse will provide the school with many happy hours of education and enjoyment and this will enable the pupils to gain first hand experience of woodland and environmental issues.

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