Forest School takes place whatever the weather so please ensure forest school kit is in school so the children can enjoy forest school, without worrying about their clothes.
Following on from last years successful project, Y5 and Y6 will be taking part in an amazing project funded by the Arts Council called Old Ways-New Skills. When were approached by its organiser, Raj Patel, we jumped at the chance as it fits perfectly with our beliefs about learning, the importance of Forest School at The Grove and providing learning opportunities outdoors.
The project’s aims are to explore traditional and contemporary crafts and develop young people’s enterprise and entrepreneurial skills, through learning the craft of using hand tools to work green wood and running our very own, in-school, social enterprise studio.
Here is a brief summary of the project:
WOODLAND WOODCRAFT WORKSHOPS
The young people get the opportunity to work in the woodland in different seasons and experience the changes. Each season will involve creation of a workshop in the woods featuring a specific wood and associated greenwood products. Working with a master greenwood maker and a range of specialist heritage craftsperson’s students will learn how to use tools and make beautiful contemporary objects to sell. All of the adults working with the children hold a full DBS certificate and thorough risk assessments have been completed. In addition, the children will always be accompanied by a member of staff from The Grove.
POP UP MARKETS
There will be a number of Pop Up Market days, when the students will take their wares to Totnes market to sell the fruits of their labours, meet customers, invite commissions and promote their locally made products.
At the end of the project, a celebratory selling exhibition, curated by Devon Guild of Craftsmen and a selection panel made up of students, staff and makers, will take place in the Devon Guild of Craftsmen Gallery at Bovey Tracey as part of the Guild’s main exhibition programme. This exhibition will feature of a selection of the best work produced over the year alongside pieces created by the specialist craft persons who have worked with the students.
PILOTING OF SECONDARY SCHOOL BASED WOODCRAFT STUDIO
For those children who go on to KEVICC the project will continue in Y7. The students will run a woodland management social enterprise which will support the development of students making practice and generate income through commissions and batch production. This income will be part reinvested in the social enterprise supporting sustainable woodland management in the partner woodland and part used to fund The Grove’s and KEVICC future participation in the ongoing project.
We are the pilot school for the project and if it proves successful and sustainable the organiser will be looking to roll out the project in other schools, with us being the lead school.
In response to lockdown happening just as Raj was completing the Old Skills New Ways exhibition installation at Devon Guild of Craftsmen, he decided to make a film to try and capture the work of the project and to give a feel of the exhibition.
Shot on the last day before lockdown, it's original purpose was to give folks a sense of what had been created, until the gallery reopened. But this quickly changed to a need to document the exhibition in case it never gets the chance to see the light of day with a live audience!
In collaboration, Raj has also created a series of weekly activities based on the project ,which we will be rolling out on Saturday's over May and June.
It starts on the 9th May and you can check out the website for details.