Meden School in Market Warsop is now offering learning in a natural setting to support the emotional and mental health of its pupils.
Called Forest Schools, it’s a child-centred inspirational learning process that develops confidence and self-esteem through learner-inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. It’s a long-term programme that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking.
Jim Smith, Headteacher of Meden School, part of the Nova Education Trust, said: “This journey started in the previous academic year where it was highlighted the need for Social, Emotional and Mental Health interventions to support the young people we serve.
“Wellbeing is the foundation of our practice. We recognise the social, emotional and physical needs of our students – and this is a key issue within our community that we are working hard to support.
“We appointed Keith Farnworth to lead our Forest School project. Keith is a real treasure of the school and his approach to some of the most challenging and under-confident students is really providing them with some positive experiences and skills that will benefit their futures.
“Keith is a member of the local search and rescue team and also helps lead the Duke of Edinburgh provision for the school. He has a keen interest in all outdoors and adventurous activities.
“He is also someone that has a fantastic rapport with our most challenging students. It was a no-brainer in training Keith up to lead on this and it has gone from strength to strength.
“Forest School at Meden is a community and we have already seen a significant impact on the young people that Keith works with and their families.”
The Forest School project takes place in a woodland or natural environment and Meden School is able to take advantage of some wonderful natural spaces.
Jim Smith continued: “The development of the Forest Schools and Duke of Edinburgh hub at Meden School will not only benefit the students but the whole community.
“The programme at Meden School has already spread to supporting our feeder schools within the community, giving the same opportunities to build student confidence and resilience.”
Forest School activities include tree climbing, lighting fires, outdoor cooking, shelter building, camping, making items out of natural resources, gardening and animal and nature watching.
To find out more about Forest School visit www.forestschoolassociation.org.