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Excluded pupils improve behaviour by attending Woodland Workshops

Tuesday 7th March

Excluded pupils improve behaviour by attending Woodland Workshops

Building on the successful results of last year’s Woodland Workshops, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to be able to offer an opportunity for pupils again this year to attend sessions thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

During spring 2016, a group of 6 pupils from several schools in Broxtowe joined Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for a six week block of Woodland Workshop sessions at Attenborough Nature Reserve. All of the primary school aged pupils had been subject to a fixed period exclusion and had been absent from learning in the classroom due to regular incidents of violent or disruptive behaviour in school.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, which is committed to making its nature reserves accessible for all and to delivering inspiring educational activities for children of all ages designed a 6 week programme including team building activities, and using tools safely.  This flexible programme allowed children free choice and enabled them to develop at their own pace. Feedback from teachers highlighted the improved behaviours including confidence, level of engagement, self-esteem, and social skills.

The pupils under supervision used various tools such as bow saw, loppers, secateurs, hand drill and sheath knife to make wooden pendants and toasting sticks etc. They learned how to light and extinguish a fire safely and how to cook on a fire. They also investigated woodland wildlife and learned how to look after it.

The sessions proved to be so successful in improving their behaviour that another block of sessions were booked in Autumn 2016.

Thanks to further funding support from Players of People’s Postcode Lottery Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been able to offer further sessions which started at the beginning of March.

Sandra Cutts, Specialist TA/Community Liaison Person fed back to the Trust:

 “Last year we saw a wonderful positive response from the young people who attended. The Woodland Workshop has given them the opportunity to learn new skills without the confines of the classroom environment. The difference in the children's behaviour was noticed back in school by the teachers and Head Teachers. The pupils were given the opportunity to work together to build shelters and learn how to start a fire safely. They relished cooking bread and toasting marshmallows over the fire. Being part of a group with a variety of ages enabled the children to appreciate the real meaning of working and listening to adults in a positive way. These skills were transferable back into the classroom.” Sandra continued stating, ”The children have come from all different backgrounds and schools but they have all enjoyed the bush craft skills they have learnt. The children have also become aware of the importance of wild life conservation and how to protect this environment. We look forward to be able to continue this experience with other pupils during 2017.”

To put it simply, one pupil’s feedback was ‘it’s just amazeballs!’

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