Southrop CofE Primary School, Southrop

Lesley Hollis, Head of Reception/Key Stage 1

Once a week, the Reception children from Southrop School near Lechlade spend part of their day in a wood, miles from town.

This Forest School experience is all possible thanks to the Ernest Cook Trust which has created an outdoor learning environment in its Horseshoe Wood near Fairford to help children extend their learning experience beyond the classroom.

The Trust provides a safe, enclosed woodland space in which reception children can learn through play.

Lesley Hollis, the school’s Head of Reception, said: “Our weekly excursions to Forest School is of tremendous benefit to the children, providing them with a natural environment where they can experience a real sense of freedom which enriches their education and helps them develop their learning skills.

“They are given tasks each week which help to develop their own independence but also their skills in working with others communicating and co-operating.

“The experience is invaluable in early development in reception and accelerates the rate at which the children are able to benefit from learning at school.”