VIDEO: University students open an outdoor environment for elementary school children

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Opening of Forest School at Thakeham Primary by Martin Field. Photo: Steve Robards

Maddie Rogers, Lauren Eade, Terri Worsley, Cindy Forsyth and Amy Kelly – known as the fairies of the forest – worked together to clear the area for the forestry school sessions as part of a college project they were assigned to Xmas.

Maddie said, “It was practical and hard work. We went prepared with our gloves and choppers. We asked the parents to come and help finish the cleanup after school one day.

“We researched forestry schools and visited many other sites including Worthing College and Palatine School to speak to their forestry leaders and examine their resources. It has been very helpful to visit other forestry schools and we would like to thank all the schools we spoke to for their kindness and help.

Opening of Forest School at Thakeham Primary by Martin Field. Photo: Steve Robards

“We received a budget, funded by sponsorship from Abingworth Meadows and Oakford Homes. We have managed to obtain free pallets and tires, wood and logs from several generous sources. At the end of our project, we were well under budget, leaving the school with some funds to maintain and develop the area as we go.

On Wednesday afternoon (March 28), Martin Field of Oakford Homes opened the forestry school as the five students led a workshop with the school children to create a mosaic table, insect hotel and log store.

Maddie added, “The kids at school were fantastic and behaved so well throughout the day.

“Sam Norton (Principal of Thakeham Primary School) and Emma Hoare (Assistant) have been amazing the whole time. They were clear in their expectations and their desires, and always united with our university project. They gave us freedom in the area and appreciated our enthusiasm and commitment to the project. It will be nice to come back to school later in the year for the official opening of the school (as they only moved to their current location in September 2017).

“We got a lot of positive praise at the opening which was very nice.

“It was a fantastic experience for all of us and provided us with many opportunities to develop our skills. My weeding skills are excellent.


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