Holtsmere Go Back to Nature!


Edufund UK are delighted to award Holtsmere End Infant and Nursery School (Hemel Hempstead) a primary award to buy a large “Wigwam Warrior” bell tent and ten all-weather suits.

Holtsmere have already invested heavily in training one of their staff up to a Forest School Level 3 Lead Practitioner and preparing a path and ground in their woodland area.  Our award will now enable them to follow the Forest Schools curriculum with each child taking part in a six week programme every year.  Holtsmere also run a Nurture Group for children with anger issues, speech difficulties, social difficulties and other challenges which will also have access to the Forest School facilities.  As headteacher, Nicola O’Connell put it:


Many of our children live in flats and do not have direct access to the outdoors. We are fortunate that our school is surrounded by trees, of which there are many species. This would allow the children to experience a different type of learning in a calm, peaceful and natural setting.


2nd Bid - Arts

We were very pleased to pass Holtsmere End Infant and Nursery School’s application for a collection of Forest School equipment.  This bid followed their earlier successful application to us for a Forest School shelter (see above).  We shall be funding a whole host of outdoor goodies such as loppers, wheelbarrows, a tarpaulin and all-in-one suits.

Nicola O’Connell (Headteacher), waited until the shelter was in place and a staff member trained in First Aid before applying so the equipment could be straight away (present circumstances permitting).  We are very keen on outdoor learning – as Nicola explained, there are so many benefits:

All of the children will benefit from learning new skills outdoors.  They will experience things that they may not have the opportunity to do outside of school.  These opportunities may spark an interest and love of outdoors and increase their self-esteem and confidence especially if they overcome fears and difficulties when completing tasks.

In the current situation, now more than ever, children need to build up their resilience and have appropriate opportunities to do so.

Holtsmere End’s bid was a good example of a school spreading their yearly £1,000 maximum allowance across terms for when they can actually realise the benefits of each project.