New Studio has permission from the Notting Hill Methodist Church to develop an existing piece of land at the back of the school into a Forest School, which is currently overgrown and unused. A Forest School is literally that – a school in the forest. It is a carefully structured, fun vehicle for outdoor learning, delivered through first-hand experience in a natural habitat. It uses the natural resources in the woodland and the children’s interests to stimulate imaginative, creative and investigative activities. Children can whittle sticks, hunt for mini beasts, help to light fires, make mud pies and build shelters. The aim of the programme is to develop the proposed area in order to introduce forest school sessions. Initially for the pre-school children and then extend it to other user groups including schools, community groups, children of Grenfell etc. during the term time and holidays. Our strategy is to improve the health and wellbeing of Kensington & Chelsea's future adults.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Forest Schools is a proven ethos and approach that works for children, it gives them the time and space to become confident and motivated young learners and provides for their holistic well-being. It reinforces, not only the importance of the outdoor environment as a motivating and relevant context for learning, but that given a degree of freedom and responsibility, children can become successful, independent learners who are considerate, creative and content. It also works for teachers and practitioners, it allows them the opportunity to step back to observe and understand their children in a balanced way. North Kensington has the second highest level of child poverty in London at 41%, as well as 25% of families living in overcrowded conditions with no outdoor space. The forest school will be open to children from across the area, we want it to benefit as many children in the local community as possible.
Steps to get it done:
We feel the site clearance is too big a job for volunteers as it requires heavy manual labour and equipment, but we will use for other aspects of the project eg. planting, ongoing maintenance. Our plan is to break the project into two phases, completing Phase 1 by the start of the Summer Term with the site cleared & prepared creating a safe environment to run trial Forest School sessions with the children of New Studio in the Summer Term. This would be followed by Phase 2 to implement a Forest Schools programme that will run throughout the year and enable local children and schools to access it. We would publicise it in the local area, on community websites like Nextdoor, contact local schools and community groups to offer sessions. There will be a charge to use it as we need to cover the running costs, but we will offer a means tested tier system so that it is affordable for families with little disposable income. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN SO PLEASE PLEDGE AND SHARE!
About the space
New Studio is and is a lovely small community pre-school located in North Kensington, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the UK, with many living in overcrowded conditions or with no outdoor space, the school is located only 5 minutes from Grenfell.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
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