Angela does the honours as forest school opens

Waterloo Primary School are getting back to nature with their very own Forest School – which celebrated its grand opening with the help of Angela Raynor MP.

Pupils at Waterloo Primary School in Ashton have been getting back to nature with their very own Forest School – which celebrated its grand opening with the help of Angela Raynor MP.

The Forest School is the brainchild of teacher Jenny Park, 44, who applied to the National Lottery Fund last year, and was granted a whopping £10,000 to make The Waterloo Woodland Adventure a reality.

She said: “I’ve always loved taking children outside in any lesson, regardless of subject. 

“We’re always exploring, problem solving – and I tend to teach elements of outdoor learning in my classes anyway.

“I applied to the Lottery and thankfully got a successful bid and from there we got the area developed and excavated. 

“We’ve had our first proper session and we made a little people’s village and the kids were so involved - that’s what makes my job.”

The Woodland Adventure stretches along the bottom of the school’s garden.

It features vegetable plots, a firepit and seating for storytime, a leafy area for exploring and a large wooden shelter for when it inevitably rains. 

Ashton MP Angela, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Education, spotted the news about the forest school on twitter and asked if she could visit take a look. 

Waterloo Primary responded asking if she would like to do the honours of opening the very special area, with her receiving the grand tour on the day of her visit.

The children were keen to tell her all about their first Forest School session, which had also involved learning about how to climb trees safely.

Headteacher Angela Goodman, 45, added how much the forest school has had a positive impact on the children.

“The kids are so proud and excited to get down there… its been wonderful to see confidence being built in some of our more shy students. That excitement to be at school is tangible.  

“We want to be able to use it in a way to support our children emotionally and socially, but also want our wider school community to be able to access it as well – such as opening it on Summer Fair days, drop-ins and outdoor cooking sessions too.” 

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