Woodland classroom welcomed by East Preston children

George Schlich receives a thank you card from head teacher Claire New, staff and pupils at East Preston Infants School
George Schlich receives a thank you card from head teacher Claire New, staff and pupils at East Preston Infants School

Pupils at East Preston Infant School have been enjoying their new Forest School canopies.

The school developed a Forest School environment in the autumn, in order to bring the classroom outside for the children.

It has proved a much-enjoyed addition to the school’s facilities.

Funding for new equipment has come partly from fundraising and donations, as well as sponsorship from Littlehampton company Schlich Ltd.

The firm of European patent and trade mark attorneys works mainly on chemical and biotechnology inventions. The founder and principal, George Schlich, lives in East Preston and has close links with the school.

George said: “We are delighted to help with sponsoring this worthwhile project and I have already been to visit and see the pupils enjoying all the new facilities at their disposal, especially the canopy, which means that they can enjoy Forest School whatever the weather.

“My great grandfather was a professor of forestry and so this has been the perfect project for my company to get involved with.”

The Forest School approach to learning offers all children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences, in a woodland environment.

The children explore their surroundings and use the natural environment to enhance their learning.

A fire pit provides the centrepiece for the Forest School, where children and staff can enjoy a break with hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows, sing songs and share stories.

New equipment gives the children the opportunity and responsibility to use tools, create a fire and cook food.

The new canopies provide shelter from rain and summer sun and enable the fire pit to be used more often.

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