This term Chloe and I, along with other members of the Mercia Education Group are undertaking a 10 week Forest School which is being held free of charge. Rugeley Power Station are providing us with the opportunity to work towards the John Muir Award in nature conservation.
There are 4 parts to the award. First you Discover a natural environment. This could be anywhere, from a beach to a mountain, to a forest or a spot in a park.
Next you Explore the area, identifying the wildlife, plants and smaller ecosystems that live within the area you have discovered, as well as looking for ways you can help to conserve the area to ensure the area itself benefits while you are learning from it.
Once conservation needs have been identified, next is naturally to get stuck in and carry out the work towards Conserving or maintaining the area.
The final stage of the award is Sharing your experiences with others to promote spending time outdoors learning about the world that we live in. In addition to the importance of sharing our work with those outside of the group, is the value of sharing this experience with all the children and adults who are taking part and getting to know each other and working as a team.
These photographs were taken on the first day of the forest school. The group was split into four smaller groups and sent off to find materials to create the four words included in the award, and then we all spent time talking about what each word meant in terms of expectations of aims and outcomes.
It was a fantastic autumn day. The leaves were only just beginning to fall from the trees in Cannock Chase and to top of a lovely day we found a large toad in a hut just as the group was preparing to leave.
I don’t hold much faith that everyday is going to be as kind weather wise, since we will be working in the forest each week up until close to Christmas, but Chloe and I are looking forward to the rest of the course and cant wait to get stuck into some forest fun activities.