PUPILS at a primary school have taken a step closer to the great outdoors thanks to a donation.
A fund-raising project to build a forest school for children at Cawston Grange Primary School and local community groups has been given a helping hand by the Heart of England Co-operative Society.
The Society awarded £1,670 to the project, which aims to encourage children to reap the mental and physical health benefits of spending more time exploring nature and the outdoors.
The school was gifted a parcel of disused land adjacent to its grounds by Rugby Borough Council.
With the land fenced off for safety, pupils were able to start using it straight away – and parents say it has helped to ease anxiety among children suffering the effects of lockdown.
The land will also be open to other groups in the community including brownies and guides, youth groups, nature lovers, nurseries and other schools.
Cawston Grange head teacher Sue McGonagle said: “The forest school has added an extra dimension to learning at Cawston Grange for all pupils. The opportunities are endless and cover all aspects of learning and child development.”
She said the forest school had helped to inject a new level of excitement in the children across a range of activities – such as writing stories and poetry, studying science and nature, building dens, and taking part in team activities.
She added: “For many children this is the ‘classroom’ where they discover themselves as a learner and a leader, where they build their confidence and find their ‘I can’ moment.
“It also offers reflection, stillness, and calm spaces in a busy world. The children enjoy every aspect of their outdoor learning come rain or shine.
“We are very grateful for the donation from Co-op, which along with existing funds will now enable us to purchase a timber gazebo for the forest school.”