Outdoors  News

Nine Elms primary school opens ‘Forest in the City’

Griffin Primary Forest School Garden with pupil

Published on
October 8, 2021


Griffin Primary School in Nine Elms officially opened their ‘Forest in the City’ on Friday 17 September.

Parents, carers, and the local community joined them in celebrating the garden’s opening along with special guest, local children’s author, Gabby Dawnay who officially ‘opened’ the area. 

Last year, the school transformed an old, disused running track into a Forest School.

Every child in the school planted a tree last autumn – and, one year on, the space is alive with all sorts of creatures and plants!

Forest Schools are woodland spaces that facilitate learning through its nurturing environment.

Led by the Deputy Head, Louise Black, the school has spent the last year introducing Forest School sessions and developing their outdoor learning curriculum.

Louise Black, said: “I’m passionate about Forest School, more students should have access to Forest School learning. For the students of inner-city London, many have little or no access to outdoor spaces, this Forest in the City is for everyone!”

The school held a creative storytelling session in the forest site as part of  Wandsworth Council’s Wandsworth Arts Fringe earlier this year.

Gabby Dawnay, Children’s Author said: “I wish all schools could be like Griffin Primary. Because if they were, our kids might just save the planet. Griffin Primary’s forest is a slice of nature in the city. A place to escape, create, chill out, connect with nature, calm down, learn, sing, play, be still, be inspired – or just be.”

Pupils at Griffin Primary School are enjoying the sessions so far. At the event, students took part in activities that showed what the Forest School was all about, including ‘in action’ creating, sharing poems, singing around the campfire, and getting muddy!

Josh, in Year 4 said: “I love our forest. This is my calm, happy place. It helps me control my emotions.” 

Kyron, in Year 4 said: “In Forest School you get to climb trees and make fire. I can’t believe I get to eat marshmallows and drink hot chocolate at my school!”

Nursery and Reception children can now access Forest School sessions most mornings.

For parents looking for a September place, the school is hosting two open days to see the Forest School in action on Friday 26 November and Friday 3 December at 9.30am.

For more information, or to arrange a visit outside of those times, contact admin@griffinprimary.org

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