Salterforth Primary unveils redeveloped Forest School area to cultivate young minds

In a heart-warming celebration that defied the rain, Salterforth Primary proudly unveiled the transformed Forest School area, now affectionately known as 'Salterwood.'
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The grand opening, graced by the presence of the Mayor of Pendle, Councillor Brian Newman, was attended enthusiastically by staff, governors, families and children all eager to explore the new wonders of this natural sanctuary.

Two pupils, Isabelle Gould and Florence Plummer, named the area ‘Salterwood’ and the Mayor of Pendle praised the school's dedication to fostering a well-rounded education.

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Beyond the conventional classroom, 'Salterwood' invites students to engage in a range of hands-on activities, from den building and knot tying to gathering around a fire pit in a purpose-built seating circle. The addition of large planting areas, a newly planted woodland, and a pond amplifies the learning opportunities, connecting students with nature.

Headteacher, Mrs Havers-Strong, The Mayor of Pendle and others celebrate the opening of 'Salterwood'Headteacher, Mrs Havers-Strong, The Mayor of Pendle and others celebrate the opening of 'Salterwood'
Headteacher, Mrs Havers-Strong, The Mayor of Pendle and others celebrate the opening of 'Salterwood'

“Our children will get so much from learning in this incredible space. Come rain or shine, it’s all about building confidence, having fun and creating special memories with friends” stated Chair of Governors, Mrs Linda Dowbiggin.

Thomas King, aged 10, said: “I am really looking forward to investigating the nature around school. The best bit is the fire pit with seating where I can chat with my friends. Salterwood is now my favourite part of school”. Sister Edie, aged seven said: “It’s amazing! My favourite part is the pond and bridge. We even get to light fires to toast yummy marshmallows” Fellow pupil, Jude McNamara (11) agreed “I think it’s great that we can do more outdoor learning and teach the younger ones how to be safe outside. It is also inclusive for everyone.”

Forest School sessions have long been recognised for their unique ability to nurture a child's development. The redevelopment project showcases a commitment to developing the 'whole child,' offering skills and experiences beyond the confines of the National curriculum. 'Salterwood' stands as a testament to this commitment – one which is fully appreciated by the school’s parents. Parent, Lynette Horsfield said “What a transformation and a fabulous addition to our school! Both my children love to be outdoors and will gain so much from hands-on experiences in a natural setting. They arrived home from their first session thoroughly excited.”

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One of the school’s Forest School leaders and Assistant headteacher, Laura Barlow said: "Our new Forest School site is a fabulous addition to our school. Every child will benefit from this fantastic resource gaining skills and knowledge that cannot be provided in the classroom as well as the benefits it will provide to their mental health and wellbeing”

Mrs Rosie and children enjoy hot chocolcate at the opening ceremonyMrs Rosie and children enjoy hot chocolcate at the opening ceremony
Mrs Rosie and children enjoy hot chocolcate at the opening ceremony

Local groups played a pivotal role in making 'Salterwood' a reality, contributing to the funding that brought this project to fruition. Salterforth Parish Council, Salterforth in Bloom, The Salterforth Funday committee and the Robert Windle Foundation have all supported the school's efforts. Their representatives joined the festivities- celebrating the community's collective achievement.

Headteacher, Vikki Havers-Strong, said "This has been a huge effort on behalf of the school and the support from the local community has been invaluable and very much appreciated. We are very proud to be a Small school with a Big heart. We aim to provide the very best education, nurture every aspect of our children's development and give them memories that will hopefully last a lifetime. Our redeveloped Forest School area will allow for even more experiences for our children.”

Amidst the rain and wind, families and children chatted together, toasted marshmallows and sipped on hot chocolate, forging memories that will linger as they witness the growth and evolution of 'Salterwood' over the coming months and years. Salterforth Primary's commitment to cultivating a holistic learning environment has taken root, promising a future where every child blossoms.

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