The extraordinary forest area at Upton Heath became and even more magical place recently when our in school forest school provision Branching Out ran some Room on the Broom parties in the forest for EYFS and year 1 children.
Year 1 pupils from Upton Heath were first to experience the Room on the Broom party with EYFS children heading to the forest the day after. The children were met by their favourite characters from the popular children’s book in the woodland setting; the witch, the cat, the dog, the frog and the bird. The children took part in a wand workshop and den building sessions, and enjoyed hot dogs cooked on the campfire.
Branching Out has been operating a forest school provision at Upton Heath Church of England Primary School, part of The Samara Trust, for around 7 years as well as delivering forest school for a number of other schools both within and outside of the multi-academy trust.
Sarah Pearson of Branching Out said: “In this increasingly frenetic and stressful world, forest school has so many benefits for children, not least of which is the chance to get outdoors and revel in the freedom and relaxation that nature offers. Forest school is the perfect environment for promoting holistic child development through essential life skills such as resilience, communication, problem solving, co-operation, self-confidence and self-esteem.”
“Forest School can be transformative for children. The Room on the Broom parties were another way of enabling our youngest children at Upton Heath to experience the benefits of forest school through a book that they know and love. Some of our children call the forest at Upton Heath, ‘the forest of dreams’ and that was even more evident at our Room on the Broom parties.”
Branching Out’s forest school programmes at Upton Heath C of E give each child to chance to experience forest school at some point during the school year at Upton Heath, and at Clutton C of E Primary School and Little Sutton C of E Primary School, the three schools that founded The Samara Trust in March 2018. Branching Out also provide intervention programmes for children with specific social and emotional needs, and training for both Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner and Level 3 Forest School Leader accredited by Agored Cymru.
Branching Out training course leader Sarah Pearson noted: “Within our forest school training programmes, our focus is on delivering forest school within the school context, so our course attendees can gain an accredited qualification as well as the skills they need to implement forest school at their own settings.”
To find out more about Branching Out, please visit https://www.thesamaratrust.co.uk/branching-out