LLANELLI’S Assembly Member, Lee Waters, has spent a morning with Year 5 Pupils at Pembrey School participating in their Forest School activities, and conceded that his sawing skills “need work.”

Forest School was set up in February 2017.  Pupils designed the area themselves with Year 6 digging out the foundations, and every class since has taken part in the wide-ranging activities such as planting an orchard with trees donated from The Woodland Trust, as well as building a roundhouse, a seesaw and constructing their own fence.

Forest School Leader and Teacher, Mrs. Andrea Mellar, said: “Taking part in Forest Schools has helped children with their confidence, problem-solving skills and enthusiasm – they really enjoy every minute of their time here. Working outdoors gives all children the opportunity to shine, and this is so important for those who can struggle in the classroom or in other formal situations.

“Pupils work with teachers to develop a programme, which so far, has been constructing and designing the area and making it safe, so they really have a  lot of ownership and pride in Forest School.”

During his visit, Mr. Waters helped as the children made bread over an open fire and used tools such as knives and saws.  He said: “I had great fun at Pembrey School seeing the fantastic work they are doing as part of the Forest Schools Movement.  This is a brilliant way of learning and engaging – though it was quite clear that my sawing skills still need work!”

Pembrey School’s Headteacher, Mrs. Helen Jacob, explained that there were a number things schools need to consider before signing up to the Forest School Initiative, including First Aid Training.  She said:

“We are very fortunate at Pembrey School to have had the help  of a supportive parent, Mr. Watkins, who is very knowledgeable and has the valuable skills  needed to make the initiative  a success.”

Lee Waters added: “It was wonderful to see children of nine and 10 years outdoors, being active and independent in their own learning.  It was no surprise to read the excellent Estyn report on Pembrey School that was published this week.  The report recognises the fab quality of education that is allowing every pupil the opportunity to succeed.  Well done to all at Pembrey School.”

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