Moorgate Primary Academy has officially opened Hollins Wood Lodge

Moorgate Primary Academy officially opened Hollins Wood Lodge in honour of Keith Hollins, former CEO of SUAT and advocate of forest schools, earlier this term. The lodge was purchased from ‘Cabins for Schools’, UK outdoor classroom and log cabin manufacturer.



Over the summer, Moorgate extended their provision with the addition the Hollins Wood Lodge because having forest school provision is an essential part of Moorgate’s PSHE, geography, science and PE curriculum. The lodge provides a safe, enclosed space for developing communication, language and collaboration. As part of their forest school sessions, children have the opportunity to sit in the lodge and discuss their successes and progress through developing their forest school skills.

The afternoon included a forest school style lunch and a chance to take part or observe a forest school session. The session allowed the children to explore the lodge, cook and eat over an open camp fire, and do all of the wonderful things that they would usually take part in during forest school. As well as visitors from the Trust, Tracy Ward, the Trust’s former deputy CEO, came to officially open the lodge, aptly named in memory of her husband, Keith Hollins.



Following the opening of Hollins Wood Lodge, Moorgate’s Headteacher, Jonathan Williams said:

“We wanted to develop our forest school provision. Initially, we had started out with a fire, bug hotels and tool stations. We wanted to provide some wow-factor for the children!

Engagement and attitude to learning has really improved. The children look forward to forest school! At the end of every session, we and discuss what skills the children have developed and the circular design of the building allows them to sit in a circle together and communicate effectively. They really feel safe in there and feel safe to share.

We have different groups for forest school, such as whole classes as well as our nurture group which supports children with EHCPs and children with SEND. We also come out here for geography and science; we do bug-hunting, as well as PSHE and team-working activities. The children absolutely love it.”

Moorgate Primary Academy’s Pastoral Early Help Lead has also described how she uses the cabin and the benefits it has had on the children:

“I bring a nurture group of mixed-ages out into forest school. It’s child-led, so for example if a child has had a particularly bad day then it’s fine for them to take a book and go and read inside the cabin and regulate themselves. It’s about helping children be in nature, get fresh air, regulate their emotions if they need to, work together, risk assess, communicate, build their confidence.

Having the cabin is amazing and I see real results. I use scaling: the Leuven Scale. So, after each session I rank individuals and measure them looking at a table and their scores improve after the sessions out here. We love having the cabin because we can come out here all year round and in all weathers.”

The lodge will be used by all Moorgate’s children for many years to come!