Hackney Forest School launches with free family fun day

Children making mud cakes, climbing trees and building dens, all to improve education, that’s the message from the Hackney Forest School, launching next month with a family fun day on 10 June at Clapton Park Children’s Centre.

Running from 12-4pm, the free fun day will give children a first-hand taste of nature and let them see what a typical day is like with the Forest School. There is also an offer available for the first 10 sign ups to the school, who will receive an additional free Forest School session for their family. Other activities on the day include massages, hula hooping, face painting and tree planting.

Forest Schools started in Scandinavia and give children aged 5-8 the opportunity to explore the natural environment in all weathers. Research shows that learning from the great outdoors has a positive impact on children’s wellbeing, health, language skills, collaborative skills, awareness of nature and living things, whilst allowing them to take managed risks to build self-confidence.

Star guest and Hackney resident Tommy Walsh, of Groundforce fame, will be coming along to the fun day to officially open the school, which has so far run a highly successful pilot initiative.

Georgia Norman, aged 7 from Clapton, who has been attending the Hackney Forest School pilot said: “My favourite thing about Forest School is that we get to go out and play and have fires and eat marshmallows and it’s just really good for us.” Georgia said she would recommend Forest School and would give it 20 gold stars, she wanted to encourage other children to come, going on to say: “You should go to forest school because you can have some fresh air and you get to play everywhere in the forest.”

Charlotte Norman, Georgia’s mum, Georgia’s mum, said: "It is always a delight to pick up Georgia after a Forest School session. Seeing her along with friends, full of energy and excitement about the owls they might have heard in the woods, the trees they have climbed, and showing me the various objects she has foraged from the outdoors. We feel very lucky that this is right on our doorstep and now we have the dilemma that the older one wants to join too!”

Forest School programmes run throughout the year, based at Clapton Park Children’s Centre going to the woods and Hackney Marshes in all weathers. Sessions range from children only, to parent and children outdoor workshops.

You can find out more about Hackney Forest School and their fun day launch by visiting the Hackney Forest School website, and you can also contact the Children's Centredirectly by calling: 020 8986 7437 or emailing: info@hackneyforestschool.co.uk.