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Nature back on curriculum thanks to Gwalia Trust funds

Nature back on curriculum thanks to Gwalia Trust funds

Gwalia Trust has provided £2000 funding to Forest School Swansea and Neath Port Talbot (SNPT) to enable it to deliver a Woodland Project with children from Blaenymaes Primary School.

Forest School children

Forest School SNPT has been providing outdoor experiences for hundreds of children from Swansea and Neath Port Talbot since it was set up in 2001.

Tracey Healey, Executive Director of Corporate Services said: “Gwalia Trust has supported the Forest School for the last 3 years, having already donated £6000 towards its delivery of outdoor learning sessions to the Blaenymaes community. This latest funding will enable it to deliver a Woodland Project in Penllergare Valley Woods to around 60 more local children and their families.

Forest School SNPT works with local children and young people to help them make use of local woods and beaches right on their doorstep. They offer children the chance to participate in healthy outdoor activity while learning about the natural environment around them and gaining skills and knowledge to help them look after it. This includes practical woodland management, tool use and bushcraft skills, emotional literacy, social skills and a sensory curriculum for disabled children. Groups of children are deliberately kept small to maximise each child’s learning and enjoyment and to help with risk management when using small tools and lighting fires.

The project encourages families to return to Penllergare Valley Woods at weekends with their children to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. Forest School SNPT also holds Family Forest Fun Days and play schemes during the holidays and out of school hours and can also provide training, advice and practical support to community groups wanting to set up their own projects.

Chris Dow, Director of Forest School SNPT said: “We’re very grateful to Gwalia Trust for supporting Forest School. It makes a real difference to the way children engage with the world around them as they grow up. They have the chance to engage with tasks, no matter how small that help them to feel challenged, take appropriate risks and succeed.”

Alongside 50% match funding from Natural Resources Wales and other match funding for play schemes, it is hoped the project will be able to continue until at least 2018.