LEARNING TO ENABLE ACHIEVEMENT AND FULFILMENT
The Royal Forestry Society and Tir Coed developed an innovative partnership to deliver the ‘Dysgu am Goed’ programme in Wales. Tir Coed aimed firstly to adapt the English provision into the Welsh curriculum and translated all teaching resources.
The aim of the project primarily was to teach children about trees, woodlands and forestry in a hands-on and fun way, whilst providing children with an opportunity to gain an appreciation of woodlands, a value for wildlife, timber and for enjoyment. As well as this, the project aimed to create ambitious and capable learners, confident and healthy individuals, enterprising and creative contributors and ethical and knowledgeable citizens, and stimulate scientific, geographical, and historical skills as well as promoting creative skills and conservation awareness.
There were 41 educational sessions held engaging 32 Ceredigion primary schools in educational sessions in local woodlands. The 2 hour sessions were full of educational activities to keep the children engaged and were designed to educate through play and kinaesthetic learning. Activities varied depending on the season and the age of the children attending.
The project included multiple activities such as:
- Identifying tree species through their leaves, twigs and bark
- Planting trees and understanding how we can help them survive and grow strong
- Learning about the structure of a tree and how it enables it to grow
- Seeing seasonal changes at work and finding out how trees disperse their seeds
- Calculating the height and age of trees
- Understanding the contribution of woods to local history
- Meeting foresters and seeing them at work
- Discovering the many different uses for timber such as fuel
- Searching for mini-beasts and evidence of more elusive wildlife which inhabits the woods
- Looking at animal habitats and building their own shelters
- Creating collages, sculptures and other artwork
- Enjoying team games that build confidence and communication
A wide range of people benefited from this project including; young people, welsh speakers, all ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities and the outdoors/woodlands itself. The activities were accessible for wheelchairs and those who struggle with literacy and communication in the classroom, and assisted teachers and support staff in delivering lessons in the natural environment.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.