St Thomas More Catholic

Primary School

Christ is the centre of our School community, where we live, love and learn together

Forest School Inclusion Project

July 2014

During the Summer Term the Year 2 Forest School 'Twiglets' have trekked to Brays Special School every week where they have been able to participate in outdoor learning activities alongside children with a range of specific needs.

At first communication appeared a challenge but it wasn't long before the children found ways to communicate and interact with each other. The children explained it: "At first we were all very shy of each other and the new surroundings. We sat outside and had a drink together, then we started to explore the sounds of Forest School and we found out lots of things about each other."

Whilst there all of the children have developed a great bond with each other which has developed as they joined together in creative activities such as being intrepid explorers searching for endangered creatures that may be lurking in the depths of the pond.

The children were all amazed when they found lots of different insects and bugs as well as newts, these have been a great topic to provoke communication and interaction between everyone, the children and adults have all been fascinated by them, some were brave enough to hold them whilst others watched from a safe distance!

Back in the classroom the children have experienced the creative ethos of Brays. Through sensory activities inspired by the findings at the pond, the children have created their own 'creatures' using clay and other natural resources. Hammer painting proved to be another exciting activity. It was a wonderful experience and very noisy one too. The children have worked together with a partner to design a floral picture by laying leaves and petals on a piece of fabric then hammering the pattern into the material.

"We have designed pictures using hammer printing. The petals and leaves were laid on the material and then we had to hammer the print onto the fabric."

It has proven to be a very inspirational experience for all, with children leading their own learning, demonstrating how they can break down barriers, overcome communication obstacles to share in the joy of living and learning together.

At the end of the project the children from Brays School came to our school for a Celebration Gathering during which the children shared their highlights through a PowerPoint Presentation. The children worked in two groups to make a commemorative plaque for each other.

We hope to continue to develop our links with Brays School during the next academic year.