Children from two Derby schools have teamed up to create a woodland area which will benefit youngsters in Littleover for years to come.
Pupils from St Giles School - Derby’s only special primary school, based in Hampshire Road - visited Carlyle Infant and Nursery School, Littleover to help plant 350 trees on school grounds.
They were joined by teachers, parents, grandparents and carers who pulled on their wellies and helped with this community event.
The trees - which included silver birch and oak – were donated to Carlyle Infant and Nursery School by the Woodland Trust.
St Giles’ executive head teacher, Clive Lawrence, said: “It’s important for children from special and mainstream schools to have regular opportunities to be included in learning experiences together.
“For pupils from St Giles School it helps to improve their outcomes in terms of communication, interaction and life skills within the wider community.
“Our Local Authority are keen to strengthen mainstream inclusion and both St Giles and Carlyle are fully committed to this. We have been working in strategic collaboration for several years now; sharing best practice, learning from each other and bringing pupils together for a range of inclusive learning experiences.
“We were delighted to be invited by Carlyle Infant and Nursery School to the community tree planting session as this aligns with our outdoor and community-based curriculum.”
The trees, which are around two-to-three years’ old, are referred to as ‘whips’ in forestry; meaning they’re a slender, unbranched shoot or plant will still need some protection from frost and animals.
Youngsters will be keeping track on their progress and it is hoped that the trees will create a woodland area in which the children can embrace the natural world around them.
Laura Besenzi, head teacher at Carlyle Infant and Nursery School, said: “Everyone will have access to the woodland area; from nursery school children up to Year Two.
“We have a strong partnership with St Giles and we regularly team up. I feel there is a lot that we can learn from each other – our vision and values are the same; we want to involve our community as much as possible.
“Our community is very diverse and it is wonderful to see everyone working together.”
Teaching children outdoors has a wealth of benefits. Research by King’s College, London has found that children who spend time learning in natural environments perform better in school subjects such as reading, mathematics, science and social studies.
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