Communitree is an Outdoor Learning Initiative founded by Danny English, with the aim to reconnect people, families and communities with the natural world through experiential education. Danny is a passionate advocate of outdoor learning, which he has been involved with for over 15 years.
Communitree has worked with Bury schools for the past couple of years, developing outdoor spaces within their school grounds, providing Forest School Training and running outdoor learning programs. Click here to visit the Communitree website to find out all about the work they do and how you can get involved or here to read their latest blog. Communitree run a range of different experiences for families, as well as forest camps and birthday parties.
“We believe that people grow healthier, wiser and more content when they feel part of a strong community and realise their deep connection with nature. Through the provision of high quality Outdoor Education we focus on creating opportunities for people of all ages to reconnect with themselves, each other and the natural world.” (Communitree)
In Summer 2016 we asked Danny English the Founder of Communitree to visit Unsworth and discuss with us how we could further develop our outdoor learning curriculum within our school grounds. Whilst he visited Unsworth, we decided to show Danny Chadderton Fields, which lies directly behind the school grounds. As a space Chadderton Fields offers the local community a place to rest and relax, with paths, areas of woodland, large open field areas and a stream. Danny instantly saw this as a space that could be developed for outdoor learning and approached Bury Council with a proposal from the school for how the area of land just outside Unsworth could be developed into an outdoor learning space for the school and local community.
Bury Council agreed in Spring 2017 to the space being developed by Communitree in collaboration with Unsworth and in early April 2017 Communitree transformed an unused woodland into a magical outdoor space, which can be seen below.
Use the tabs below to find out about the different Communitree events and learning opportunities that are taking place in the space.
[learn_more caption=”Community Events”]
Each Term Communitree will be visiting Chadderton Fields to run some community events. If you would like to take part in any of these events contact the school office.
02/07/17-“Where the Trees Came From”
11/11/17-Autumnal Family Day 10.00-13.00
25/03/18-Family Day 10.00-13.00
30/06/18-Family Day 10.00-13.00
[learn_more caption=”Story Telling Sessions”]
Communitree will be spending the day at Unsworth on 15/05/17 to introduce each class to their new outdoor learning environment through using unique stories around a camp fire to connect them with the space.
Across 2017-2018 Communitree will be spending a day in the outdoor space with each class around one of their themes.
[learn_more caption=”Reception 09/10/17 pm & 26/03/18 Story Telling and Outdoor Art”]
Reception paid their first visit to the Forest School area and hunted for the Gruffalo. They also learnt how to toast marshmallows over the fire and shared their pictures with their families via Tapestry.
[learn_more caption=”SLRP 09/10/17 am Stories in the Woods”]
Mrs Canning has been visiting the Forest School area since its creation in Summer 2017 and the children have worked really hard to develop their writing to showcase. When Danny visited, the children created their own bows and arrows!
[learn_more caption=”Year 1 16/04/18 Enchanted Woodlands”]
[learn_more caption=”Year 2 30/04/18 Habitats”]
[learn_more caption=”Year 3 05/02/18 Stone Age Day”]
[learn_more caption=”Year 4 14/05/18 Roman Day”]
[learn_more caption=”Year 5 02/10/17 Anglo Saxon Day”]
Towards the end of their Anglo Saxon enquiry the children spent a day in the Forest School area developing their thinking in the outdoors.
[learn_more caption=”Year 6 05/03/18 Viking Day”]
[learn_more caption=”Forest School”]
Forest School is often confused as a place, and understandably so; the term ‘Forest School’ implies that it is a place. However, Forest School is so much more than a place. Forest School is an educational ethos that recognises each child as both unique and competent. It provides child-centered holistic learning in an outdoor environment for ‘children’ of all ages, including adults.
Through real life first hand experiences of play, exploration, experimentation, social interactions and reflection, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning both during and away from Forest School. Unlike regular didactic classroom teaching Forest School places the student central to their experience, providing them with the freedom to follow their interests and learn at their own pace alongside a specialised Forest School Leader.
A relatively new approach to learning in the United Kingdom, Forest School has been functioning on these shores since as recently as 1995. Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia, an area rated with the best education system, the happiest people and the greatest sense of well-being in the entire world. Many people claim the success is a result of the education system (formal classroom education is replaced with Forest School until age 7) further promoting the use of Forest School around the world.
INCORPORATING FOREST SCHOOL INTO YOUR SCHOOL
The CommuniTree Initiative has worked with a number of schools to incorporate Forest School into their curriculum. Services can range from a full term (10 sessions) to a whole year of Forest School delivery, ensuring Forest School is a regular part of the school curriculum. All sessions are delivered by a fully qualified Forest School Leader (Level 3).
Sessions can be delivered at one of our sites or on your very own school grounds. We have worked with a number of schools to transform unused school land into excellent learning environments that create an excellent space for Forest School and Outdoor Learning.
If you are interest contact Communitree:
Tel: 07863 553 039
“What a wonderful experience seeing all the children playing games, making mobiles and necklaces and learning about the environment and nature on their doorsteps; all whilst having fun. Definitely a day to remember and not to be missed. Many thanks for all the effort put into a fabulous time in the woods.”
“We want to say a really big thank you to both Communitree and Unsworth. We love the family days! We love that all the family can join in. They are inspiring, fun and all of us look forward to them. Lots of lovely memories are made. We also like that we get to meet and spend time with other families.”
“Thank you for a very enjoyable outdoors experience with Communitree. We enjoyed all of the activities and thought the leaders were really good with all involved. Thank you for a fab experience. We look forward to next time.”
“Wonderful session with two great activities. The venue was perfect and so were the s’mores!”
“It was an amazing experience. We would love to do this again. Thank you for everything.”
“The communitree event on Saturday was an amazing woodland adventure. So much fun and so interactive. Myself and my daughter had a brilliant time. Thank you so much.”
“Great to get away from the xbox and computer and spend time in the great outdoors. A well organised event with fun activities and games. Hot chocolate by the camp fire was a nice touch.”
“We had an amazing time at the Communitree event. The weather was lovely and it was great to get the kids outside. My first and definitely not last s’more too!”[/learn_more]