Back to Basics & Bushcraft!

In September we are starting our Forest Craft sessions. Every child at St Giles will have a total of 12 afternoon lessons throughout the school year, engaging the children in our woodland environment, undertaking activities outdoors and in natural settings. Forest Craft has been especially designed and compiled for St Giles School around our amazing grounds and local wildlife.

Throughout the summer term the children had taster sessions and very quickly we could see them developing a positive relationship with each other and the natural world around them. The children were engaged and worked brilliantly in their teams.

The Staff and Governors recognise the value of outdoor learning as part of the school's curriculum and they have the enthusiastic backing of the parents. Forest Craft is a really exciting addition to the school curriculum and will benefit the whole school greatly.

Staff training has been completed and a whole day was spent by the Forest Craft staff leader in a woodland near Wakefield, with Jamie Dakota from Howl Bushcraft, brushing up on their skills and learning how to use them in a school setting. The training was detailed and engaging tuition in planning and equipment, including tarp peg making & knots, managing yourself and equipment, basic knife skills, fire lighting skills, natural shelters, natural navigation, simple tree ID and leave no trace training. It must have been tough spending the whole day in a beautiful woodland setting building dens, lighting fires and whittling wood but somebody had to do it! It was said that it was the best training day ever completed by a member of staff.

Jamie Dakota from Howl Bushcraft, who trained our Forest Craft school leaders, also holds Family Bushcraft Day and for families who want to take the first steps into bushcraft together. It really looks like great fun. Jamie was recommended by the outdoor learning department at The YHA head office in Matlock.

So the countdown begins! The Forest Craft Leader at St Giles has even been practising the training they received at home in the holidays.

"Learn to play, play to learn". Chris Holland

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