Forest Gate pupils spend two days as country bumpkins

Neighbouring schools in Forest Gate brough the countryside into the classroom for two days of rural learning.

Held over two days at the end of September, children from Earham Primary School and Elmhurst Primary School travelled up the road to Leyton for the annual Countryside Live event.

Children from across London took part in the educational festival at the Waterworks Natyre Reserve, part of the 26-mile-long Lee Valley Regional Park.

Claire Kirby, class teacher at Earlham Primary School, said: “It’s a wonderful event for children who are used to being in the city.”

Run in partnership with national charity Countryside Learning, the schools took part to complement the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto’ that links with the National Curriculum to bring the classroom to rural settings.

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said: “Countryside Live is a truly unique event which brings the countryside to children and families who live their everyday lives in an urban setting. It’s an incredible opportunity for them to do things they normally wouldn’t, understand how life in the countryside really works and simply to get close enough to touch animals such as sheep and goats. An event like this where the countryside literally comes to town is one not to be missed.”

Primary school children took part in hands on activities, demonstrations and arena events including willow weaving, corndolly making, woodturning and mini beast hunting as well as getting close to a range of animals not often seen including bats and otters, marvelling at a range of farm animals and enjoying the sheepdog and falconry shows.

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Gary Richardson, Chief Executive of Countryside Learning said: “Countryside Learning is celebrating 10 years of partnership with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, providing a unique introduction to the countryside for thousands of parents, teachers and children from across the capital. In that period of time, we have seen a huge shift in the attitude and willingness of our young people to engage with the fantastic natural resource which is on their doorstep.”