“Regardless of circumstances, we want our students to leave school well-equipped with the life skills needed to become well-rounded individuals. We aim to encourage thoughtful students, inspire opinionated voices and develop enquiring minds and challenge them through our commitment to well-planned, inspirational teaching and outstanding practice.“
Aldersley’s Forest Schools Department
Having successfully run the Duke of Edinburgh Award to Key Stage 4 and 5 students at the school for many years it was decided to give students in Key Stage 3 the opportunity to also access an outdoor curriculum. Forest Schools at Aldersley High School was introduced 4 years ago. Only a few groups were able to access the lessons but it was an outstanding success with every group. Now all pupils within the Trust in years 7 and 8 will have Forest School lessons.
KS3 Curriculum – Forest School
Within Key Stage 3, students in year 7 and 8 have approximately 12 lessons of 2 hours of Forest School per year. The Forest School department have worked hard to ensure that an irresistible curriculum is on offer so that all students are inspired, engaged in their learning and reach their full potential.
Pupils take part in the nationally recognised John Muir Award. It has 4 sections and allows them to: – discover a wild place, explore it, do something to conserve it and share their experiences.
The benefits pupils gain are that they are given a challenge and adventure, from being in wild places, have an environmental awareness from exploring such areas, gain knowledge and skills gained from the experience in the outdoors and involvement in conservation activities. They share their experiences with friends, colleagues and become role models.
- Identification of flora and fauna in the school grounds and in the local area
- Explore Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve and create their own classroom within the forest
- Construct a variety of natural shelters at Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
- Learn the basics of orienteering in both the school grounds and at Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
- Conservation at Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
- Further explore Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve and create their own classroom within the forest
- Safe use of a variety of tools, e.g. saws, axes, loppers, secateurs and knives for wood collection and whittling
- Cooking with no trace fires, Kelly kettles and trangias
- Navigation in the local area using map and compass
- Erect man-made shelters using tarpaulins and tents
- Orienteering at Cannock Chase
- Conservation work at Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
How will pupils be assessed?
Pupils will complete the John Muir Award. To pass pupils will discover a wild place, explore it, do something to conserve it and share their experiences and they will receive a certificate of achievement from the awarding body
Mr A. Grimshaw
Head of Forest Schools
Mr Grimshaw is Head of Forest Schools across the Amethyst Trust