Hill Croft School

Forest Schools

We are delighted to be involved in the Forest Schools initiative in school. Forest schools is managed by the Northern Ireland Forest School Association and funded by the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. It is an exciting and innovative educational experience that has been shown to be hugely beneficial to all those taking part.

This year, Hill Croft school has received the Forest Schools status.  J5 will be involved in weekly sessions that will take place around the New Mossley area and followed up in class.  We aim to engage in all aspects of the curriculum through our outdoor experiences.  Some examples of sessions might include den building, camouflage games, artistic creations made by using natural items found within our outside environments and exploring nature.

The Forest School sessions will be delivered in partnership with the Northern Ireland Forest School Association (NIFSA).  NIFSA is a local charity that has been set up to promote outdoor environmental education for children in Northern Ireland.  For further information please visit their website on www.forestschoolawards.org.

As a family, you can also get involved with Forest Schools by joining the Forest School Family programme.  Register on-line, carry out 6 activities in your local Park with your children and you will receive a personalised certificate for your family.  You will be given ideas on what you can do and no experience or expensive equipment is required. Visit https://www.forestschoolawards.org/cgi-bin/main.cgi?page=FamilyZone;vat=1504168921

Our thanks go to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Forest School Association for giving us this wonderful opportunity to become involved in this exciting venture.



This year in Forest Schools, we have been collecting natural materials on our walks.  We have made our names with sticks, hedgehogs with leaves and daisy headbands.  Our Maths and Numeracy skills were further developed by sequencing leaves to make patterns and colour matching leaves to paint cards.  We have also been looking at Julia Donaldson books.  We've listened to some of her stories and created stick men as well as going on a Gruffalo Hunt.  Everyone has had fun so far, exploring the outdoors throughout each season of the year.


Our new Forest Schools area is now open.  We are having fun exploring the area and are looking forward to our school community helping us to "Yarn Bomb" the area to make it more bright and colourful.