OFFICERS from Acocks Green police station have helped a school to go green by donating money to transform an area of wasteland into a brand new forest school.
Officers from the South Yardley neighbourhood team joined members of the local community, staff, parents and pupils to help Gilbertstone Primary School create its very own forest school on a piece of land which had once attracted anti -social behaviour.
After reclaiming the land at the back of the school, staff and children at the school on Clay Lane set about realising a dream of creating an area where pupils could learn about the natural environment.
Head teacher Mrs Ceri Crosskey said: “We want to give our children the very best and broadest possible education. We now have a wild area with huge potential for learning a wide variety of skills.
“We have been very fortunate to have some wonderful contacts in our local community who have made today’s opening possible. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for making this dream a reality.”
The ‘forest school’ philosophy is about enhancing classroom learning by making it practical and hands-on in an outside natural environment. The forest school caters for all age groups and will be used by the nursery up to year six pupils.
The land, which is now home to a mud pit, fire pit and outside classrooms, had previously been an area of wasteland which attracted youths engaging in anti-social behaviour. Since then the area has been cleared and transformed by the Youth Offending Service through the Community Payback initiative.
PCSO Elly Ako Agugua: “As a neighbourhood team we were delighted to help out as we are constantly working to improve the areas where our communities live, work, or in this case go to school.”