Beauchamp Lodge Settlement
From a Floating Classroom to a Forest School
The need for social distancing has been a challenge for many schools and learning spaces. But when your classroom is a narrow boat, it’s particularly tricky…
The Floating Classroom is an innovative project run by the Beauchamp Lodge Settlement – a charity that offers learning experiences inspired by London’s waterways and green spaces.
Schoolchildren from across the city, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, learn from the Floating Classroom’s programme of hands-on science, environment and history lessons.
Classes usually take place on a purpose-built barge on the Regent’s Canal. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they needed some extra space. So the team decided to bring their unique teaching style onto dry land too and set up a Forest School.
- In North Westminster, 48% of pupils are eligible for free school meals.
- Our grant of £8,395 funded forest school places for 20 young people, aged 9 to 11, from primary state schools in North Westminster.
- During the Forest School programme, children develop their confidence and resilience, and form a connection to the natural world.
Benefits of a Forest School
At Kusuma Trust, we’re committed to widening access to green spaces in Kensington and Westminster, as well as exploring novel and effective methods of informal education – especially where these support young people facing challenges in the educational mainstream. That’s why we decided to support the new Forest School programme.
Our grant of £8,395 funded places for 20 young people, aged 9 to 11, from primary state schools in North Westminster.
The Forest School brings students to the canal side and other green spaces. The day-long sessions take place at weekends and during school holidays in Spring and Summer.
As they learn about local plants and animals, children develop resilience and form a connection to the natural world. They embrace new challenges, increasing their confidence and transferable skills – hopefully developing a lasting love of nature.
In June 2022, we awarded another £7,675 to help the Beauchamp Lodge Settlement build on the success of this project. They delivered a further 10 Forest School sessions in Summer 2022.