The free learning resources provided for schools by the Foresters’ Forest programme.
History Curriculum Scheme of Works – school curriculum Years 1-6 Key Stage 1 & 2 guidance notes for teachers, detailing how to explore the Forest’s rich history by visiting key sites and planning learning activities (at Dean Heritage Centre, Hopewell Colliery, Clearwell Caves, St Briavels Castle, Puzzlewood) . Download the PDF version: History Scheme of Works
We recommend teachers also refer to ‘The Story of the Forest’ children’s history book of the Forest of Dean, by local author Andy Seed. Copies have been distributed to all schools in the Forest of Dean and is available to purchase from: [https://www.forestofdeanhistory.org.uk/publications-for-sale/books/]
Natural Heritage Curriculum Scheme of Works – school curriculum Years 1-6 Key Stage 1 & 2 guidance notes for teachers, detailing how to explore the Forest’s rich natural heritage by visiting sites and planning learning activities (e.g., at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust nature reserves, Forestry England sites, RSPB Nagshead reserve, Worcester Walk project, Angus Buchanan Recreation Ground, Pillowell Recreation Ground). Download the PDF version: Natural Heritage Scheme of Works
Ranger in a Bag – developed with Forestry England, the bags enable teaching staff to take pupils out on activity-based exploration and learning days in the Forest. There is an ‘Amazing Animals’ bag and a ‘Fantastic Forests’ bag, both jam-packed with activities for schools to experience. The learning activities include tree and wildlife identification, bug collecting, wildlife identification and shelter building – along with plenty of easy-read fact sheets to refer to. To place a free booking to use the bags in your Forest of Dean school on loan, along with finding out more about other free learning resources Forestry England provides, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Archaeology Pack – designed to give Forest of Dean school teachers rich, visual and hands-on material, to use in teaching Key Stage 2 local history topics across the Forest of Dean, detailing all sites of archaeological interest within the Forest and their proximity to the schools. Note: Most schools within the Forest of Dean have been supplied with printed copies of the packs. No further copies available.
Geology of the Forest of Dean Pack – designed to give Forest of Dean school teachers rich, visual and hands-on material, to use in teaching Key Stage 2 & 3 geology of the Forest of Dean, detailing some sites of geological interest within the Forest and their proximity to the schools. Note: Schools within the Forest of Dean will have been supplied with printed copies of the packs by March 2022. No further copies available.
Forest Literature – Reading the Forest is working with schools to develop free-to-use resources and lesson plans exploring where we live through our stories, authors and history. See Reading the Forest Teacher Resources [https://www.readingtheforest.co.uk/teacher-resources.html ]
- Reading the Forest has also created a series of podcasts to explain ‘The Stories behind the stories’ in the Forest of Dean. See https://www.readingtheforest.co.uk/podcast.html
- Voices from the Forest also provides a podcast series that helps explain the Forest’s history by using recordings they completed with local people. See: https://www.voicesfromtheforest.co.uk/podcast.html
- Wyldwood Arts has also worked with local community groups to create the ‘Forest Folk’ podcast series: https://www.wyldwoodarts.co.uk/ourprojects/forest-folk-podcast
Timelines – see two online ‘Timeline’ tools: the Foresters’ Forest ‘Forest Timeline’ [ https://www.forestersforest.uk/forest-timeline/], telling the story of the Forest through the ages, and Reading the Forest’s ‘Forest Literature Timeline’ [https://www.readingtheforest.co.uk/historytimeline.html]
Hidden Heritage Apps – these FREE Hidden Heritage apps help you explore the Forest’s past, using both old maps and new technology:
- Cinderford’s Hidden Heritage app takes you on a trail of approximately 13 miles around the town and surrounding area, highlighting 24 points of interest including the Town Centre and The Triangle, Ruspidge Halt and Edgehills nature Reserve. You can choose to do as much, or as little of the trail as you like.
- Coleford’s Hidden Heritage follows a 7-mile route around the historic market town of Coleford, including Scarr Bandstand, Darkhill Iron Works and Titanic Steelworks.
- Hidden Heritage of the Dean takes you on a 9-mile route following Forestry England’s Family Cycle Trail.
How do download the Apps?
- Download Cinderford’s Hidden Heritage app from Apple iStore or Google Play Store
- Download Coleford’s Hidden Heritage app from the Apple iStore or Google Play Store
- Download Hidden Heritage of the Dean from the Apple iStore or Google Play Store
Geoheritage of the Dean App – through 11 walk routes this app explores the geology, coal and iron mining heritage of the Forest of Dean. Introducing us to the rocks beneath the Forest and exploring ‘deep time’ – learning how the rocks of the Forest formed over 500 million years of Earth history. You can even walk with and take photos of dinosaurs during the ‘Deep Time Walk’!
Other useful resources:
- Paul Rutter, who led the Foresters’ Forest project called ‘Ancient & Notable Trees’, has produced a leaflet about ‘Ancient and Notable Trees in the Forest of Dean’, which includes a map and details of 36 outstanding trees to visit.
- The ‘Forest of Dean Map and Guide’ is a handy summary of many of the important places to explore in the Forest. Free copies available from Coleford Tourist Information Centre.