Here at Bury CE School, the children get to spend a minimum of 10% of their week outside connecting with nature through our weekly Bury Rangers sessions and through many other areas of the curriculum.
Bury Rangers came about after Miss Willett trained as a level 3 Forest School Leader and began developing forest school within the curriculum here at Bury. Over the course of a year, the sessions evolved quite organically, slowly moving away from the conventional forest school approach. While keeping much of the richness of the ethos and nature based learning of forest school, it developed into a more unique, South Downs centred part of our curriculum.
Bury Rangers has its own two year rolling plan which consists of differentiated sessions for our 3 class groups. Each group has a similar focus each half term, but each session has been planned to ensure progression between the ages.
Children still have the opportunity to experience true Forest School during the first half term each year. After that, Bury Rangers sessions draw upon learning about our environment, in our environment, for our environment. This is where our 'Bury Rangers' name came about. 'Rangers' encompasses the emphasis on the children becoming knowledgeable about our natural environment and encourages them to understand their own responsibility to care for and look after this environment. 'Bury' emphasises how we closely and very explicitly use our local environment of Bury and the South Downs for our learning.
The sessions cover:
- Folklore, folk songs, folk dances - all specific to our local area and its history, continuing historical traditions;
- Natural artists, sculptors and painters;
- Close liaising and consulting with South Downs National Park;
- John Muir Award
- National Outdoor Learning Award
- Green Tree Award (Woodland Trust)
- Nature photography
- Forest School tools
- Pond dipping
- South Downs camp outs
- Hikes and walks around the South Downs National Park
- Mapping and planning routes
- Country Dancing
Bury Rangers does not stop there. The children in Sparrowhawk Class are our beekeepers. They learn the role and importance of bees in nature, how a hive works and how to extract honey.
Much of our curriculum at Bury has our local area and nature at its centre and Bury Rangers is at the forefront of this.
The children even have their own special Bury Rangers hoodies, designed by a pupil at the school.