Springhallow School is an Ealing school for children with cross spectrum autism. This project has supported us to outreach to this local school. Several volunteers and support people have helped us to create their own forest school/nature space in their school grounds. Over twenty of the pupils have visited the Reserve over the nine months. It is not only the pupils that love coming; the teachers and support workers do too. Perivale Wood is a special place and everyone who visits feels different once they have been. In this natural space, new experiences are had together and their visits are stimulating and fun. The benefits to this piece are three-fold; a community is involved in the creation of a nature space within the school’s grounds, new visitors come to Perivale Wood and meaningful experiences for pupils, staff and local community volunteers are shared.
Here are some of the activities the children have been involved with:
• Habitats and lifecycle work
• Bug hunting and identification of species
• Den building, design and challenge
• Learning to use loppers, Secators, saws and a bit and brace amongst other tool use
• Cooking on an open fire including the science of fire
What did it mean to you:
• Taking part in activities that have helped to build their confidence and creativity especially in the outdoors and in a woodland environment – these ranges from scale model making, to outings and activities in Perivale Wood to imparting their experiences, through presentation at a school assembly
• Learning new skills – all activities showed the group how to make use of natural resources, from crafts to fire building, encouraging the children to develop their resourcefulness and creativity
• Increased physical activity and increased physical confidence – some of the children had not spent much time outdoors and this project has given them future confidence to even want to return with their families.