client Tynewater & Gorebridge Primary Schools
contract value £5,000 grant from Forestry Commission Scotland
Under the auspices of International Year of the Forest, and with a grant from the Forestry Commission, we are running two workshops in Tynewater and Gorebridge Primary Schools, Midlthian. These are being run with P6/7 pupils, Stephanie Walker, a Forest School Leader, and another wood worker.
The workshops are split into two parts. The first is a series lessons in the classroom about the properties of wood, its use in buildings around the world and an understanding of how in its use it responds to local environmental, climatic and cultural conditions. These are interspersed with hands on experiments from stripping willow to splitting wood and lashing sticks together.
The last two indoor workshops end with the children designing their own structure for their playground. The choice of building, materials and location is left to the children. Along with this they learn about procurement and red tape while we negotiate the hurdles of Health and Safety and responsibilities.
In the second part of the workshop the pupils build the structure they designed with the help of the woodworkers. Every effort is made to ensure that the pupils can get involved with every part of the construction. For example, the foundations involve no wet trades. Instead the holes are filled with stones to be collected by the pupils from the adjacent field.