Search

Sowing the seeds of success! First Forest School pupils re-unite to mark 12 years of outdoor learning at Houghton Hall

PUBLISHED: 18:02 05 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:17 06 March 2017

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Archant 2017

Making fires and cooking food down in the woods may have seemed a novel approach to learning at the time.

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

But 12 years on some of the first Forest School pupils have returned to the Norfolk country estate that helped to sow the seeds of their success.

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Lord Cholmondeley joins the class for marshmallows.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Lord Cholmondeley joins the class for marshmallows. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Houghton Hall owner Lord Cholmondeley helped pilot the new approach to outdoor learning back in 2005 welcoming a group of pupils from nearby Litcham School. Kate Boardman was amongst those sharing happy memories of spending schooldays with friends at Houghton. Reepham College student Kate, 17, said: “Forest Schools were an unforgettable and invaluable experience. The weeks of trips to Houghton Hall always fuelled me with excitement and allowed me to explore attributes that I never realized I had. Forest School vastly improved my communication skills and deepened my friendships with classmates with whom I still enjoy spending time. The hours within the woods allowed me to excel physically and discover my true love of sport and the outdoors.”

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

The group of teenagers were invited along to join Lord Cholmondeley at the special celebration event on Sunday, where they gathered by a fire to toast marshmallows.

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time.
Some of the original first group, Abbi Richards, Lauren Makins, Kate Boardman, William Falch-Lovesey, Oliver Musgrave.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Some of the original first group, Abbi Richards, Lauren Makins, Kate Boardman, William Falch-Lovesey, Oliver Musgrave. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Oli Musgrave, 17, who is now studying A-levels at Reepham College said:

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

“Although I was bright at primary school, I guess I was lively and got distracted easily. However, Forest School engaged me in such a different way. I loved the practical side of making fires and cooking food in order to survive in the outdoors. It gave me a respect for those teaching me in school and made me focus.”

In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Lord Cholmondeley joins the class for marshmallows.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017 In 2005 Forest School was launched at Houghton Hall. Some of the first pupils have returned to celebrate the anniversary with new pupils trying out the school for the first time. Lord Cholmondeley joins the class for marshmallows. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Forest schools originated from Scandinavia, and are based on the principle that time, space and contact with the natural environment are key to a child’s development. Now a fully developed training programme, Houghton Education is available to all schools in Norfolk and free travel, funded by a Cholmondeley family trust, is provided to those within a 20 mile radius. Lord Cholmondeley said: “The Houghton Education programme is a tremendous collaboration between Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the estate. I am extremely proud that Houghton has provided and continues to provide an outdoor “classroom” to so many pupils in schools across Norfolk.”

Other news

59 minutes ago

A woman who found the body of murdered dog walker Peter Wrighton cried in court as she described the moment she realised he was dead.

10:19

Eight members of a north Norfolk-based amateur radio group have been teaching girl guides how to contact colleagues around the world as part of Thinking on The Air Day.

More than 2,000 hours when ambulance crews could have been responding to other calls in Norfolk were lost due to delays in handing patients over at A&E last month.

A week of “bitterly cold” weather has been forecast for East Anglia.

Most Read

59 minutes ago

A woman who found the body of murdered dog walker Peter Wrighton cried in court as she described the moment she realised he was dead.

Read more
10:19

Eight members of a north Norfolk-based amateur radio group have been teaching girl guides how to contact colleagues around the world as part of Thinking on The Air Day.

Read more
Germany

More than 2,000 hours when ambulance crews could have been responding to other calls in Norfolk were lost due to delays in handing patients over at A&E last month.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A week of “bitterly cold” weather has been forecast for East Anglia.

Read more
United Kingdom

Platinum-selling singer-songwriter James Arthur is the second act to be announced for Outside Live’s summer concert series.

Read more
United Kingdom

Most Commented

59 minutes ago

A woman who found the body of murdered dog walker Peter Wrighton cried in court as she described the moment she realised he was dead.

Read more
10:19

Eight members of a north Norfolk-based amateur radio group have been teaching girl guides how to contact colleagues around the world as part of Thinking on The Air Day.

Read more
Germany

More than 2,000 hours when ambulance crews could have been responding to other calls in Norfolk were lost due to delays in handing patients over at A&E last month.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A week of “bitterly cold” weather has been forecast for East Anglia.

Read more
United Kingdom

Platinum-selling singer-songwriter James Arthur is the second act to be announced for Outside Live’s summer concert series.

Read more
United Kingdom

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter