Newsells – our wild life area

Through a very generous donation from the Jakobs Foundation and Newsells Stud, Barkway and Barley schools have access to a large plot of natural land on the stud, falling between our two schools.  This area is used regularly by the schools in many different ways, not just for environmental science but for collective worship, inspiration for art and English to mention a few.

Along with parents, staff and governors we have carried out considerable work in the area:

We asked for donations of plants and bulbs then set to, planting in parts of the area depending on whether shady or exposed using a mixture of bulbs and wildflowers.

The children helped with building bug hotels using wood from the estate.  We check regularly to see how the inhabitants are faring.

Some trees were considered to be too dangerous to leave standing.  Once felled, we were able to arrange wood, some circles and some longer pieces of trunk into a seating area/clambering area.  We picnic here and read stories.

We wanted a pond to increase the scope of the wildlife in the area so we began digging and lining a pond.  We have added some pond vegetation.

We have made bat and bird boxes for the area and installed these.  We plan to set up an infra-red camera to see what happens at night time.

Staff have received training in its safe use and have many ideas for using it to its maximum potential.

Newsells Adventure-September 2017

From mid-September, all the children from both schools in Years 1 to 4 will be taking a ‘Forest Schools approach’ to their learning and will visit the site on one morning each week. It is an opportunity for the children to work outdoors within the curriculum, exploring nature and using the beautiful environment of the site to inspire their work.

We have recently entered into a partnership with Barley Scout Group who will be maintaining the land for us.  We have invested in various important resources such as shelters and a special toilet which we will take to the site.   FOBBS, our parent teacher association will help us to purchase waterproof trousers for all the children so that we can continue to visit the area even when the weather is not so pleasant.  We shall be using our Classroom Bus with its unique computer set up allowing us to turn it into a state of the art mobile classroom.

The children are very excited about the forest school and we will publish a blog accessible from the schools’ websites so you can follow our progress.  We remain very grateful to the Newsells Jakob Foundation for the loan of the area for our children to use.

Forest School handbook