Rawtenstall primary school to launch 'forest pre-school'
A RAWTENSTALL primary school is set to launch a ‘forest pre-school’ and it’s thanks to an £18,000 grant by the Lancashire Telegraph St Mary’s CE Primary School has teamed up with regeneration charity Newground to offer a year of free environmental lessons for toddlers.
Volunteers, including staff, governors, parents and pupils, have spent 18 months clearing, planting and nourishing part of the Haslingden Old Road site to make the forest school possible.
Kate Crane, the school’s business support officer, said: “This is an opportunity for pre-school children to engage with nature, wildlife and the outdoors in a safe outdoors environment.
“It will also allow new parents to bond with their children taking part in activities together in a safe outdoor environment and for new parents to make new bonds within their communities.”
A forest school practitioner, provided by Newground (formerly Grou- ndwork Pennine Lancashire), will be hosting the activities, including outdoor storytelling, mini beast hunts, outdoor cooking, den building, model den building, wild art, mud play, flag making, leaf prints, sensory games and hide and seek.
Miss Crane added: “Activities will revolve around natural play and will give opportunities for both parents and children to experience the benefits of it. They will also learn new skills so activities they take part in and enjoy can be carried out in time outside of the toddler group.
“The sessions will be centred round the children’s development.
“This will offer them the chances to explore the natural world, develop motor skills, aiding them in independent play and learning.”
The school received £18,160 from the Lancashire Telegraph Community Cash Awards, in conjunction with the Big Lottery Fund, earlier this month.
The forest school will open on November 11.
It will welcome two, three and four-year-olds and their parents or carers.
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