After months of planning and hard work, we are delighted to announce that our Dragonfly Garden is finally finished!
This new area is furnished with a wide array of items, such as: a firepit, mud kitchen, gazebo, screwdrivers, mallets, saws, sawhorses, magnifying glasses, binoculars, tarps, bug pots, paracords, sawhorses, gardening equipment, steels for fire lighting and a woodpile.
Whole school staff training for Loose Parts Play and Den Building began in early November. This means the team have already been able to get out with the children and explore the space. The children have been able to: build their own dens from tarpaulin and foraged wood; create trails and obstacle courses with loose parts; and get the opportunity to forest bathe.
The Dragonfly Garden is already being used for learning outside the classroom. Sycamore class have been in there to track the changes of the season, Willow class have been investigating the different types of trees and the brave children of Willow class have tried using the bowsaws (with adult supervision). We can’t wait for the first class to test the firepit and go bug hunting with all our new equipment! As soon as we get more staff Forest School trained, Den Building will be added to the New Oak University offer.
This new area allows our pupils to relax, play, and learn all about den and campfire building, crafts, woodwork and all the other basic bushcraft skills. This will help the children with their confidence, self-esteem and mental health.
Moreover, spending so much time out in nature will imbue our pupils with respect and curiosity for the world around them which they can then take into their adult lives.