Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund we have been able to develop a toolkit for local schools to use in their teaching, connecting the next generation with their very special landscape. The Education Toolkit is one of the 21 projects in the “Our Past Our Future” landscape partnership, being delivered by local organisations.
The Toolkit resources are free to download, and the Commoners Defence Association is available to advise and answer any questions schools or youth groups might have in relation to their content. Schools and youth groups can also earn their Shared Forest badge.
Use the contact form to arrange a visit or to talk to Lyndsey Stride about how your school or youth group can get involved.
‘We believe it is essential that we inspire our pupils to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our pupils live in an amazing area and through this project they have become experts in understanding what is special and unique about the New Forest. This will encourage them to respect and value where they live, they now understand that it is a place to be shared and cared for. ‘
Tina Daniel, Executive Head.
The three schools in the Oaks Federation have embraced the challenge of teaching the next generation of New Forest children. All children in Year two have earnt their Stage One Shared Forest Badge and are working towards their stage Two.
Before the project started the children were asked what they knew about the New Forest. Answers were hard to elicit and included ‘a road crosses it’ and ‘you can walk your dog there’. In direct contrast at the ceremony where they received their awards all of the children were able to explain at length what makes the New Forest special. They described the different habitats and the plants and animals you find there. They knew who the Agisters, Keepers and commoners were and had some very good ideas for solving some of the problems which the Forest faces.
All of the children at Hyde Primary School are working towards their Shared Forest Awards. They have made use of the activities and resources in their regular Forest School sessions where they regularly get out in the Forest. The children in the Junior classes are also working towards their John Muir Award which has been specially written to incorporate their Shared Forest learning. Regular pond surveys and plant hunting forays have built their knowledge of the special and unique flora and fauna in their corner of the New Forest.