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Village school gets lottery cash

PUBLISHED: 15:14 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 13 July 2010

A north Norfolk village school has been awarded more than £6,000 of National Lottery funding to develop an outdoor learning scheme aimed at improving youngsters' social and practical skills through an appreciation of the natural world.

A north Norfolk village school has been awarded more than £6,000 of National Lottery funding to develop an outdoor learning scheme aimed at improving youngsters' social and practical skills through an appreciation of the natural world.

Gresham Primary School began expanding its nature and wildlife area last year, also sending a group of youngsters and staff on a Forest Schools taster session at Holt Hall Field Studies Centre.

The scheme, which originated in Sweden, involves taking part of the regular school curriculum outside, with trained staff using teaching and learning strategies aimed at raising youngsters' self-esteem, increasing confidence, developing independence, and improving language and social skills.

To gain Forest Schools status, staff have to take part in intensive training courses, learning how to run pupil-led outdoor sessions and to teach skills from making a camp fire and whittling, to identifying trees, plants and wildlife.

Gresham Primary head teacher Jo Davenport said the £6210 grant, from the lottery's Awards for All programme, would be used to send staff on Forest Schools training courses, to further develop the school's outdoor learning area, and to buy all-weather suits for pupils.

Once trained, staff will create project boxes, and offer Forest Schools sessions to neighbouring schools.

“We are very excited about the prospect of children being able to make the most of living in a rural area and learning from the outdoors,” Mrs Davenport added. “And I think the benefits they will gain in personal and social development with have a positive impact on all areas of the curriculum.”

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