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Forest School: Grand Opening by Lord Mayor

Bevois Town Forest School officially opened by Southampton's Lord Mayor

On Friday 21st April 2023, Southampton's Lord Mayor, Cllr Jacqui Rayment, visited Bevois Town in order to officially open our wonderful new Forest School. 

 

The school gathered at 11.00am for the Lord Mayor's arrival, where, wearing her finest robes, she cut a woven vine, and declared Bevois Town's Forest School "OPEN"!

Hands on approach...

Following the 'Grand' opening, the Lord Mayor then had the chance to observe a Forest School session in practice, led by our very own Forest School lead, Mrs Boussot. The children had the chance to "show off" their skills as well as their love of the outdoors, cutting wood using a bow saw, planting sunflower seeds, bug hunting and den building.

The DAILY ECHO newspaper

Also present at the opening, was Southampton's Daily Echo newspaper, who sent a journalist to cover this wonderful story. (See link to article at the bottom).

 

During their visit, the Daily Echo journalist interviewed a number of people involved in the project...

The Lord Mayor herself said, "We live in a city where we are very proud of our green space.

"For a school to create a forest area where young people can experience what nature is really about is a really special moment.

"I'm delighted to have been invited today to open this space."

Year 5 pupil, Noah Bocock, told the Echo: "This is

a little area in our school where people

can do gardening and have fun."

"Sometimes people dig, and sometimes people

build fences.

"Today, me and my friends are planting

sunflowers and cutting wood to make wood

cookies.

"It's nice to have a place like this because

before this was completely off-limits

and you could see no-one going in or out.

"My favourite part about this place

probably has to be about how everything

and everyone come together to have fun." 

 

Five-year-old Sophie added: "We have lots of fun things to do here now. 

"We can now walk around divine sticks and make fairy things for the fairies.

"I am so excited to make s'mores with my friends here and eat it." 

 

Mrs Boussot commented, "By embracing the forest

school approach here at Bevois Town,

we recognise more than ever that children need nature. 

"Time spent outdoors is good for our physical health 

and mental and emotional well-being too,

especially for our children who have come through

lockdowns and live in the middle of the city. 

"Although we recognise that our space is limited,

we are trying to offer our children the chance to

learn from nature and build their resilience and

self-esteem through supported risk-taking by

using wood-working tools and cooking on the campfire." 

 

 

Matt Botley, a parent governor, whose daughter is also a student at our school, was present at the ceremony, and said:

"I own a landscaping company, and we generally design

and build gardens. 

"But we decided to redevelop this site of the school for free,

and it's quite nice to do something like this.

"We've been talking about doing it for quite a long time

because before there only used to be an old pond, so

all of this site was flooded. 

"A lot of work was put in to create this space.

We put up hedgehog houses, and bird boxes,

trying to turn them into a wildlife space as well as

something that the kids can use as an outside classroom." 

 

Please find link to Southampton Daily Echo article here:

 

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