A group of Forest of Dean school pupils took to the woods for a lesson with a difference recently.
St Briavels School teamed up with Foresters’ Forest to incorporate a Forestry Commission site visit into their maths lesson.
Pupils measured trees and found out about the tree life cycle from planting saplings, growing and thinning trees and then harvesting/felling trees.
With the help of Forestry Commission staff, children were able to see a tree harvester at work from a safe distance. With the cooperation of a local contractor, work was stopped for a short time so that pupils could get a closer look at the machine.
Foresters’ Forest Programme Manager Sue Middleton said: “Visiting a tree harvesting site helped teachers to bring maths to life and showed children how numbers can work in the real world. Not only that, but pupils were also able to find out more about how the woodlands are managed here in the Forest.
“Thanks to all the Forestry Commission staff and St Briavels School for helping to coordinate the visit.
"Our Forest is like a giant learning resource which can help children learn in lots of ways, and we’d love more schools to join us.”
The Foresters’ Forest partnership programme has been teaming up with teachers to find ways to link built, natural and cultural heritage in the Forest of Dean to the curriculum.
The programme of 38 Heritage Lottery Funded projects - covering topics from wildlife and habitat conservation to freemining and craft skills - offers the chance for children to connect with their local landscape and learn in a hands-on, creative way.
So far, pupils have explored history with medieval finds at an archaeology dig, learned physics through bat navigation, created new ponds and practiced creative writing around the theme of mining.
Lydbrook Primary School even adapted their curriculum to focus on local heritage whilst still meeting National Curriculum requirements.
Don't worry if that sounds like a big step, you can get involved with Foresters' Forest gradually one project at a time.
Working with Schools is one of 38 projects in the Foresters’ Forest Heritage Lottery Funded programme.
You might be surprised what you find!
From creating habitats for our wildlife or improving our waterways, to recording oral histories or finding old photos, there’s always something going on to get involved in!