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'Forest School' at HCJS

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Dave Ranking recieves a gift of thanks
Official Opening by Tim Mahoney
Fire safety officer
Mobile handwashing facilities
Outdoor learning in the Forest School

Last Friday (9th October) Haddenham Junior School officially opened its new Forest School area.

Generously supported through the financial help of the Haddenham and District Rotary Club, the new 'outdoor classroom' is separated from the rest of the school site by a new fence and provides a safe but natural setting for Forest School sessions.

In attendance to officially cut the 'conker ribbon' was Tim Mahoney, President of Haddenham and District Rotary Club, and Dave Rankin, a member of the club but also the school tree warden who assists at Forest School sessions. It was Mr Rankin who approached the Rotary Club with a request for support and he then erected the new fence himself! He has also planted many trees.

Pupils presented Mr Rankin with a personal gift in recognition of all the practical help he had provided in helping to create the Forest School area.

Mrs Caroline Armstead, Haddenham Junior School's Forest School teacher, explained the philosophy of the Fnew outdoor learning environment:

"Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions in the outdoors. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner-inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting."

"Children learn to make sensible, informed decisions about how to tackle the activities and experiences they encounter. They're learning to be self-sufficient and take care of themselves, which boosts their confidence and self-esteem."

Mr Leach, Headteacher of Haddenham Junior School, went on to thank the Rotary Club for their help.

"It simply wouldn't have been possible to get this new project off the ground without them" he added. "We are very grateful indeed and know that this fantastic new facility will benefit many children in the future.

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